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US House passes MORE Act legalization plan

Washington Legislature Federal Capitol Congress

The U.S. House of Representatives did its part; now the question is whether the Senate has the power to bring it home. In this case, it’s the new federal cannabis legalization package.

The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Elimination Act (MORE), which eliminates cannabis from the Federal Controlled Substances Act and attempts to overturn the harm caused by a racially and economically disproportionate application of the ban, was approved today by in the House of Representatives.

An earlier version of the bill was passed in December 2020 in a widely voted vote, becoming the first comprehensive cannabis policy reform legislation to receive a ground vote or be approved by a congressional chamber. He died in the GOP-controlled Senate. The question is whether the Democratic Senate majority can make it work, given the slim majority the party holds.

Revisions from the MORE 2020 Act

Reviews from the last session included the removal of a provision that would have allowed federal regulators to deny cannabis trade licenses to candidates who had previously been convicted of crimes. Other changes from the text introduced this session include revisions to the property requirements, which allow operators to secure those locations after receiving a federal license.

A number of amendments were proposed at a hearing of the Rules Committee to advance the draft, but only three were settled in order. The first passed in a roll call vote and was introduced by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) has authorized $ 10M for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct a study on technologies and methods that law enforcement can use to determine if a driver. it is altered by marijuana.

Another amendment, introduced by Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA). This amendment directs the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to conduct a study on the impact of legalization in the workplace, using states that have legalized recreational cannabis use as a guide. , and urges NIOSH to develop best practices for employers such as Cannabis companies transpose their cannabis-related policies, giving priority to employers engaged in federal infrastructure, transportation, public safety and national security projects.

Research seeks, as usual, negative effects rather than positive ones

In addition, the Act directs the Department of Education to conduct a study on the impact of legalization on schools and school-age children, using states that have legalized recreational cannabis use such as guidance, and requires the Department of Education to develop best practices for educators. and administrators to protect children from any negative impact. ”It was passed by a roll call vote.

This is quite typical of Congress when it comes to cannabis: direct research only to find negative effects instead of benefits. This policy has hampered research since the passage of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970.

Another amendment, which failed in a roll-call vote, was proposed by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) had asked federal agencies to examine the denials of safety permits dating back to 1971 and do so retroactively so that cannabis could not be used “as a motive.” to deny or revoke a security clearance “.

Although there is currently no company law in the Senate, Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) and Senators Booker (D-NJ) and Wyden (D-OR) are scheduled to present a bill. complete cannabis reform in the next month.

“With voter support for legal cannabis at an all-time high and more states moving away from the ban, we commend the House for taking this step again to modernize our federal marijuana policies.” , said the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of NCIA. Aaron Smith. “Now is the time for the Senate to act on sensible reform legislation so that we can finally end the failure of the ban and promote a well-regulated market for cannabis.”

Laws to make cannabis legal for adults have been passed in 18 states, including the District of Columbia and the CNMI and Guam territories, and 36 states and several territories have comprehensive medical cannabis laws. The substance is legal in some form in 47 states.

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U National Association of the Cannabis Industry (NCIA) is the largest cannabis trade association in the United States and the only organization that broadly represents cannabis-related businesses nationwide. NCIA promotes the growth of a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry and works toward a social, economic, and legal environment conducive to that industry in the United States.

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