With a 24-10 vote, the House Judiciary Committee today approved a measure to end the federal prohibition of cannabis.
The measure, House Resolution 3884 (HR 3884), also known as the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019 or The MORE Act, would remove cannabis from the Schedule I category of the federal list of controlled substances and allow states to set their own policies.
HR 3884 would require federal courts to expunge convictions for prior cannabis offenses and impose a 5 percent tax on marijuana products.
The tax would also establish a trust fund for equity programs to assist people who have been disproportionately affected by prohibition.
But while The MORE Act has managed to gain approval from the House Judiciary Committee, the resolution needs to pass seven more House Committees before it makes to the House floor, and its chances of surviving in the Senate are reportedly slim.
“I don’t think a majority of Republicans will support this bill,” Committee member Ken Buck told CNBC. “It is even less likely that the Senate would take it up. Therefore, I would just suggest that we deal with other bills that we can get a much larger bipartisan support from.”
Under HR 3884, the Veterans Affairs doctors would be permitted to prescribe medical cannabis for veterans in compliance with individual state laws.
The MORE Act was originally introduced by Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY) on July 23, 2019 and is co-sponsored by more than 50 representatives.