The United States House of Representatives is slated to vote on federal cannabis legalization next month, according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.
Likely emboldened by voters’ overwhelming support of legal weed and psychedelic drug reform, Hoyer announced on Monday that the legislative body will finally vote on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act in December.
It’s been a long time coming. The MORE vote was originally supposed to happen this past September, but then it was delayed last minute to after the election, in fear that any such move might jeopardize the larger goal of Democrats: dumping Donald Trump.
Hoyer assured constituents that the House would vote on MORE before 2021 and he’s apparently keeping to his word (so far). “The MORE Act remains a critical component of House Democrats’ plan for addressing systemic racism and advancing criminal justice reform,” Hoyer said when the delay was announced. “We are committed to bringing it to the Floor for a vote before the end of the year.”
Yesterday, Hoyer published a letter to his colleagues regarding actions the House will take in the coming weeks, and the MORE Act was right there among the most important items.
“The House will vote on the MORE Act,” Hoyer wrote, “to decriminalize cannabis and expunge convictions for non-violent cannabis offenses that have prevented many Americans from getting jobs, applying for credit and loans, and accessing opportunities that make it possible to get ahead in our economy.”
Many advocates hope that if the MORE Act passes, it will motivate President-Elect Joe Biden to reconsider his present policies regarding cannabis.
still favors decriminalization and expungement of prior convictions over simply legalizing the green — something that two-thirds of Americans wish the government would just do. Even a majority of Republicans are in favor of the MORE Act.
Still, even if the MORE Act passes in the House, there’s no guaranteeing it will make it through the Senate. But, Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts said last August that, if Biden were to win the presidency, “legalization should happen in 2021” and that it would be a top priority for Congress in the new year.
“Ultimately at the federal level,” Marky said, “beginning on January 20, 2021, when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are sworn in, we create the programs that make it possible for businesses to gain access to the capital they need in the minority community so that they can establish their own businesses in the cannabis sector.”