The House passed legislation to legalize marijuana nationwide and eliminate the criminal penalties for anyone who distributes or posesses it. The bill entitled the “Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment & Expungement Act (MORE).” Federal courts will be required to expunge prior marijuana convictions and conduct resentencing hearings. A federal sales tax on marijuana sales would also be implemented starting at 5% and increase to 8% within five (5) years.
Republicans who opposed the measure said pot sold today is more potent than it was decades ago. Some also argued it’s still a gateway drug that leads to harder and deadlier drugs. Others said this is the very last priority lawmakers should be focused on with the war raging in Ukraine.
Although the final vote was 220 to 204, the bill is unlikely to become law since it’s expected to die in the Senate. As of now, at least 37 states – 4 territories and The District Of Columbia – allow the use of medical marijuana. About half of that number – 18 states – 2 territories and The Nation’s Capital allow the use of recreational marijuana.