The US House of Representatives voted Friday to approve a bill that would decriminalize cannabis at the federal level.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (a.k.a. the MORE Act) was approved in the House on Friday in a 220-204 vote, the Associated Press reported. Of the 220 approvals, just three were from Republican lawmakers, although that figure isn’t accurately representative of how the issue has grown to receive support from both major parties in the U.S.
A November 2021 poll, for example, suggested that the majority of Republicans and Democrats are supportive of legalization at the national level. More recent polls have also resulted in similar findings.
In a statement shared with Complex and other outlets, Morgan Fox—who serves as political director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)—pointed out that marijuana is “objectively safer” than alcohol and urged those in the Senate to take swift action.
“This vote is a clear indicator that Congress is finally listening to the vast majority of voters who are sick and tired of our failed marijuana criminalization policies and the damage they continue to inflict in communities across the nation every day,” Fox said. “It is long overdue that we stop punishing adults for using a substance that is objectively safer than alcohol, and that we work to address the disparate negative impacts that prohibition has inflicted on our most vulnerable individuals and marginalized communities for nearly a century.”
The MORE Act would remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances, establish a process for the expungement of convictions, and more.
If this all feels a little familiar, that’s because there was indeed a wave of comparable headlines back in 2020 when a similar bill passed the House but failed to move forward. Unfortunately, this order of events is widely projected to happen again this time around, although the latest House approval does send another promising message as the push for a federal overhaul continues.
Come on Joe, let’s get this done.