U.S. House Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level on Friday.

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level on Friday.

The 228-164 vote came as the democrat majority was joined by 5 republicans and an independent. Republicans had opposed the bill along with six democrats who voted outside their party lines.

While a historic first in the advancement of marijuana decriminalization, the legislation is not expected to advance while the Senate remains in Republican hands.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is an opponent of changing federal marijuana legislation, which means a proposal is unlikely unless democrats pull out wins in the Senate runoff elections taking place in Georgia.

Although federal law on marijuana has remained unchanged for decades, legalization efforts have made progress across the United States. Montana, Arizona, New Jersey, and South Dakota have all voted to legalize marijuana in the 2020 election.

To date, 30 states permit the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes while fifteen states and the D.C. district have passed legislation that decriminalizes recreational use of the substance.

But the federal ban on the drug persists, which creates conflicts with state laws and limits cannabis companies’ access to banking services and funding.

The Democrat-majority House voted 228-164, largely along party lines, to lift the federal prohibition. But

The bill the House passed would allow states to regulate marijuana, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat and co-chairman of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, said in debate.

Representative Earl Blumenauer noted that “this legislation does not legalize cannabis across the country. It stops the federal government from interfering with what states have decided to do.

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