US House votes to decriminalize marijuana; SWFL congressmen oppose

The US Capitol.

Dec. 4, 2020 by David Silverberg

The United States House of Representatives voted today to decriminalize marijuana.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2019 (House Resolution 3884) passed on a largely party line vote of 228 to 164. Five Republicans voted for it, six Democrats against it.

Southwest Florida’s representatives (Reps. Francis Rooney (R-19-Fla.), Greg Steube (R-17-Fla.) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-25-Fla.)) all voted against the bill.  As of this writing, none had issued statements explaining their votes.

The bill, first introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-10-NY) in July 2019, decriminalizes marijuana and specifically “removes marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminates criminal penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana.”

The bill now goes to the Senate where it is not expected to be considered before the Senate adjourns, effectively killing it for this session of Congress. However, it may be raised again in the next Congress. President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris are on record supporting adult-use decriminalization, allowing states to set their own laws and expunging prior marijuana-related convictions.

Liberty lives in light

© 2020 by David Silverberg

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