The United States House of Representatives passed legislation on Friday to legalize marijuana nationwide, eliminating criminal penalties for anyone who manufactures, distributes or possesses the substance.
The measure 220-204 in a largely party-line vote.
The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act was introduced by House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
Nadler called the MORE Act “long overdue legislation that would reverse decades of failed federal policies based on the criminalization of marijuana.”
“This current system, frankly, doesn’t work, it doesn’t make any sense – not for community safety, not for the functioning of an effective prison system, and not for successful rehabilitation,” Congressman David Cicilline said just prior to the vote. “By removing marijuana from the federal controlled substances list, allowing for the expungement of marijuana offenses, and providing support to communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs, the MORE Act is a long overdue step in restoring justice and reversing the harms caused by the War on Drugs.”
“This landmark legislation is one of the most important criminal justice reform bills in recent history,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“It also addresses the injustices of it because of what penalties had been before some of these, this decriminalization took place,” she added. “So I’m all for it.”
The measure now heads to the U.S. Senate where it is expected to face fierce opposition from the Republicans.
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