By LeeWEpstein

November 18, 2019

A key committee of the U.S. Congress will hold a historic vote on a bill to end the federal cannabis ban next Wednesday.

MORE Act for Marijuana

The text called the MORE Act for Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement aims to remove cannabis from the list of prohibited substances and to delete previous cannabis-related convictions.

It would also protect immigrants from being denied US citizenship for reasons related to cannabis and would fund compensation for the damage caused by the war on drugs, particularly to communities of color who have been disproportionately affected, through a 5% federal tax on all cannabis sales. A cannabis bureau, attached to the Ministry of Justice, would handle this.

The bill has 55 supporters in the House of Representatives, all but one Democrat. Also,a twin bill will be introduced in the Senate by Democratic Senator Kamala Harris, a candidate for the 2020 presidential election, with no indication of a deadline. However, the Senate has a Republican majority, traditionally conservative on this subject.

However, it is unlikely that this new proposal will be adoptable at this time.

Challenging Federal Prohibition

In late September, the House of Representatives adopted with strong support a draft banking law for cannabis companies. So,the text had led to the emergence of divisions as to the treatment to be given to change cannabis legislation. On one hand, some believe that it is essential to immediately address the harms caused by the war on drugs and equity in the cannabis industry.

While, others think it makes more sense to move forward with more limited legislation, focused on state rights, but which could have a better chance of moving forward in the Senate and ultimately on President Trump’s desk.

In June 2018, the latter had entrusted the government with the support of another project, the STATES Act, which would not formally decriminalize cannabis and ,would not include measures to ensure equity in the cannabis industry for the communities most affected by the war on drugs. On the other hand, it would protect cannabis-related operations in states where federal prosecution is legal.

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