Cannabis Legalization: MORE Act Again Clears the House

Yesterday, March 31, 2022, the House of Representatives again voted to end federal prohibition of marijuana by removing it from the list of banned substances. The bill—the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (the MORE Act)—passed by a vote of 220-204, largely along party lines.

Next the bill goes to the Senate for approval, where its fate is murky. In 2020, a similar version of the MORE Act passed through the House but lost support before a Senate vote could take place. While passage of the MORE Act would end the federal prohibition of cannabis, legalization would still be subject to state legislation. Currently, cannabis is legal for recreational use in 19 states and legal for medical use in 36 states.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle for the MORE Act to clear is the fact that there are two competing bills regarding federal cannabis regulation. The first is the States Reform Act, introduced last year by South Carolina Representative Nancy Mace—who voted “nay” on the MORE Act. The second is the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, a cannabis decriminalization bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senators Cory Booker and Ron Wyden. The senators look to introduce their bill

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