According to reports from US News, “The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act) passed 220-204 in a vote largely along party lines and is only the latest in a series of efforts to decriminalize the substance after a version of the measure cleared the chamber in December 2020 but stalled in the then Republican-controlled Senate.”
The MORE Act is intended to create wider streams of revenue for states by imposing a tax on regulated cannabis sales. It will also expunge the criminal records of hundreds of millions of Americans who have been charged with marijuana-related offenses. Most importantly, the new law would declassify marijuana as a federally illegal substance.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is in favor of the new legislation, he came out publicly backing the MORE Act in February. At an event with advocates for federal marijuana legalization Schumer stated, “As majority leader, I can set priorities. This is a priority for me.”
Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York also believes the legislation is vital in addressing “injustices of the last 50 years.”
For a filibuster at the Senate level, the bill would have to pass with sixty votes in the evenly-split Senate before it would arrive on the desk of President Joe Biden.
The bill will "end decades of failed and unjust marijuana policy," says Democratic Representative Ed Perlmutter on the House floor Thursday before the vote. "It is clear prohibition is over. Today we have an opportunity to chart a new path forward on federal cannabis policy that makes sense." He did not fail to mention that the decision to legalize will still fall on each state individually.