House Judiciary Committee approves landmark marijuana legalization bill

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The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill Wednesday that would effectively make marijuana legal.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2019 passed by a count of 24-10. 

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the committee, introduced the bill and has gathered more than 50 co-sponsors of the bill in the House. 

“Today’s vote marks a turning point for federal cannabis policy, and is truly a sign that prohibition’s days are numbered,” Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, said in a press release.

Under the MORE Act, weed would be removed from the Controlled Substances Act, federally legalizing cannabis across the country. Additionally, past federal cannabis convictions would be required to be expunged. 

The bill would also establish the Cannabis Justice Office, an organization that would introduce a 5 percent tax on state-legal cannabis sales, among other things.

Weed-related businesses, such as dispensaries, would be able to apply for loans and grants through the Small Business Administration.

Moreover, Veterans Affairs doctors would be allowed to prescribe medical marijuana in accordance with individual state cannabis laws. 

Wednesday’s vote marks the first time that a congressional committee has voted in approval of the legalization of marijuana.

BY MARTY JOHNSON 

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