A Bill to Decriminalize Cannabis and Hemp Passes the US House

0
463

In a major win for the cannabis and hemp industry, the US House of Representatives passed the MORE Act. This bill would help create a better industry for interstate commerce as well as helping minority communities in different ways. These include the disproportionate number of incarceration in communities of color for minor cannabis offenses. Most importantly, The MORE Act would decriminalize cannabis and hemp possessions.

MORE Act

MORE Act stands for Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement Act. This act would move the law forward to help move cannabis forward to become federally decriminalized. It wouldn’t necessarily create a law that states how each state is to function with this new law. Rather, it states that it is not a federal criminal to possess cannabis. The states will then determine their own laws.

This is similar to the 2018 Farm Bill passed by the USDA. States created their own laws adopting or rejecting the definition of industrial hemp. The MORE Act passed the House in a vote count of 228-164. Democrats proposed the act and Republicans joined in support.

There has been some backlash from this act. Many are concerned that the House is focusing too much on the MORE Act rather than the COVID-19 pandemic. But some Representatives state that this act is just as important as helping with the COVID-19. Many citizens have turned to cannabis and cannabinoids to help with anxiety and depression during the initial lockdown. With cases increasing across the country, this trend doesn’t look like it is going to change anytime soon.

The MORE Act would also reclassify the drug scheduling of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. This would further decriminalizing the plant as a Schedule I drug, the highest classification a drug can receive. Marijuana is on the same dangerous list as LSD, cocaine, and heroine. These extremely dangerous drugs can cause severe addiction and sometimes death.

Hopes for the Future

Many hemp industry owners and creators are praising the House for passing this bill, even if it could be short lived. From the House, the Act will move on to the Senate. It will undergo further scrutiny and discussion before reaching the President’s desk. The Senate only has a short period of time to examine the Act and vote on it. It must be voted on before President Trump leaves and President-Elect Biden enters office.

This sitting duck period can make or break the act. If the Senate does not discuss or vote on the Act, then the MORE Act will have to be reintroduced to the House under new legislation. This would happen after new members are sworn in and a new president is inaugurated. This could slow down the overall process of decriminalizing the possession of cannabis. However, many are proud that this topic was taken seriously and passed with over a ⅔ majority in the House.

Make sure to check back for more cannabis and hemp news.