The US House Of Representatives Just Voted To Decriminalise Weed
The US has just voted to decriminalise weed in a bid to embrace the views held by the majority of Americans.
The House of Representatives conducted the vote today, December 4, on the matter and will now take the bill – named the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act – to Congress in the hope of it being passed.
The vote marks the first time the House has ever voted in favour of decriminalising weed.
While this comes as a huge step for pro-cannabis campaigners, it’s thought that it will be unlikely that the bill will be passed as Senate Republicans have indicated there’s no appetite to pass the measure, reported Vice.
Prior to today’s vote, co-sponsor of the MORE Act, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, dubbed it the ‘right thing to do’ saying, ‘For too long, the war on drugs has targeted young people, especially Black people, and rejected the advice of experts.’
Blumenauer made the point that while the likes of cocaine and heroine are addictive, cannabis is not. He also made note of the drug’s medical usages too as it’s often used a source of managing pain, reported NBC News.
As per Vice, he also said:
We’re not rushing to legalise marijuana. The American people have already done that. We’re here because Congress has failed to deal with a disastrous war on drugs and do its part for the over 15 million marijuana users in every one of your districts. It’s time for Congress to step up and do its part. We need to catch up with the rest of the American people.
Meanwhile, Rep. Debbie Lesko described the MORE act as ‘bad policy’ and that today’s vote was ‘wasting the House’s time’.
Lesko continued, ‘Not only is this a dereliction of duty, the bill is simply bad policy. It does nothing to deter the use of marijuana by children, fails to require a warning label on the health risks posed by marijuana, and disregards science that shows marijuana directly affects parts of the brain responsible for memory and learning.’
Despite her views, the House still voted to decriminalise the drug by a vote of 228-164.
According to Rolling Stone, the vote fell largely along party lines, with six Democrats voting against the bill and five Republicans voting for it.
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