Bill To Legalize Cannabis Shifts To US House For Vote
Fast forward to Friday and the United States House will vote on a bill to legalize cannabis across the nation. The bill, formally referred to as the MORE Act, would comprehensively legalize cannabis throughout the land of the free and the home of the brave.
The Progression Of The MORE Act
The MORE Act’s shift to the House comes one the heels of the House Rules Committee shifting the legislation to the House. It was initially anticipated that MORE would shift to the House on Thursday. There was a delay until Friday following the addition of a procedural motion tacked on to the America COMPETES Act.
Rewind to 2020 and the House passed the MORE Act with 228 yays and 164 nays. However, the Senate failed to act, meaning the measure had to be relaunched upon the seating of the new Congress in the winter of 2021.
The pressing question is whether the Senate will pass the MORE Act. Though the legislation is likely to pass through the House with ease, there is the potential for the vote total to be slightly different from that of the last go-round as members of this legislative body have changed. After all, the last vote took place with a post-election lame duck Congress, meaning there weren’t any potential negative ramifications for voting in support of the legislation.
The next vote will occur prior to the start of the upcoming primary. In other words, lawmakers’ votes will be on record, meaning there is significantly more risk involved in voting in support of the proposed law.
Chuck Schumer’s Role In Cannabis Legalization
The vote on the MORE Act might not result in the proposed legislation becoming the law of the land yet it will certainly bring attention to the cannabis industry. As is often said, all publicity is good publicity. Those interested in cannabis investing are wondering whether this adage applies to the industry. Cannabis investors should not be deterred if Congress doesn’t pass the MORE Act. There is also hope in the form of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s comprehensive cannabis reform bill.
Schumer recently tweeted about how a considerable percentage of residents in the United States live in areas where marijuana is legal for adult recreational use, meaning the time is right for the federal government to get with the times and legalize the plant across the board. Schumer went on to note that cannabis reform at the federal level would help right the wrongs of previous years in which communities with a prevalence of racial minorities were unfairly targeted by the War on Drugs.
The Future Of Cannabis Will Soon Be Determined
Colorado representative Ed Perlmutter (D) is preparing to lead the cannabis debate. Perlmutter has spearheaded the push for marijuana banking reform in previous years. The representative is likely to focus on the need for banking reform in the context of marijuana transactions during the upcoming debate.
It is also worth noting the House Rules Committee cleared a bill that would legalize marijuana on the federal level, potentially setting the stage for action in the week ahead. The full body advanced certain amendments for votes including a vote to reevaluate security clearances turned down due to cannabis being illegal at the federal level. Other amendments, including an amendment that would reduce the tax rate on cannabis, were also thwarted.
Stay tuned through the end of the week and beyond as the country’s cannabis legislation takes shape.