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Politics Landmark bill legalizing marijuana at the federal level passes House committee

02:50  21 november  2019
02:50  21 november  2019 Source:   abcnews.go.com

Support for marijuana legalization is at an all-time high in a new poll

  Support for marijuana legalization is at an all-time high in a new poll Two-thirds of Americans support marijuana legalization, according to two recent polls.The newest poll, from the Pew Research Center, found that 67 percent of Americans now back marijuana legalization, up from 62 percent in 2018. Opposition to legalization also dropped to 32 percent, down from 34 percent last year.

The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill on Wednesday that will decriminalize marijuana use at the federal level , giving states more room to craft unique regulations. The " Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019" -- also called the MORE Act -- will officially remove.

The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill Wednesday that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level . The bill would remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances, allow states to set their own marijuana policy and require federal courts to expunge prior

The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill on Wednesday that could decriminalize marijuana use at the federal level, giving states more room to craft unique regulations.

Steve Cohen, Pramila Jayapal, Jerrold Nadler, Nydia Velazquez standing next to a person in a suit and tie: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill to highlight the MORE Act (Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act) legislation in Washington, Nov. 19, 2019.© Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill to highlight the MORE Act (Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act) legislation in Washington, Nov. 19, 2019.

The "Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019" -- also called the MORE Act -- could officially remove cannabis from the list of federally controlled substances, expunge federal marijuana convictions and arrests, and approve allocation of resources for communities affected by the war on drugs, according to the bill's text.

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Topline: A Congressional committee approved a landmark bill Wednesday that would decriminalize and tax marijuana on the federal level ⁠—but it’s Despite Republicans’ opposition to cannabis, 11 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational usage, while medical

The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill Wednesday that decriminalizes marijuana on the federal level , leaving it up to states to set their own policies on the substance. The legislation, which passed 24 to 10, has a high chance of approval in the House , where Democrats control the chamber

The legislation, introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and co-sponsored by more than 50 lawmakers, passed 24-10 in the committee on Wednesday.

It would also establish an organization -- called the Cannabis Justice Office -- to introduce a 5% sales tax on cannabis sales in states where it remains legal, according to the bill.

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"These steps are long overdue. For far too long, we have treated marijuana as a criminal justice problem instead of a matter of personal choice and public health," Nadler, the committee's chairman, said during bill markup. "Federal action on this issue would follow growing recognition in the states that the status quo is unacceptable."

Marijuana decriminalization faces a long, hard road despite big victory

  Marijuana decriminalization faces a long, hard road despite big victory A Republican on the House Judiciary Committee said Republicans would oppose the bill and that "it is even less likely that the Senate would take it up."The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted 24-10 to approve the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, or MORE, which would remove marijuana from the federal list of controlled substances, where it's now banned alongside powerful drugs like heroin and LSD.

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee reportedly will begin considering a bill that would legalize marijuana at the federal level , provide for expungement and resentencing and fund reparative programs for the war on drugs. Do you have a point of view we missed?

The House of Representatives will pass a bill legalizing marijuana at the federal level , predicts the chair of the committee that would have to approve the bill before it goes to the House floor for a full vote. But the Senate will likely drag its feet in passing the bill , if it passes it at all, Jerry Nadler claims.

Nadler added, "Despite the federal government’s continuing criminalization of marijuana, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical cannabis.”

The landmark bill marks the first time a congressional committee has passed a bill in favor of legalizing marijuana at the federal level. It will still need to pass the full House before moving to the Senate – where it’s likely to stall.

The MORE Act would remove marijuana as a Schedule I substance, a category that also features other drugs, such as heroin, LSD, ecstasy and peyote.

"States have led the way -- and continue to lead the way -- but our federal laws have not kept pace with the obvious need for change," Nadler said in a statement. "We need to catch up because of public support and because it is the right thing to do."

Former Vice President Joe Biden has spoken out in favor of decriminalizing marijuana and expunging criminal records for possession charges, but like Nadler, thinks each state should decide whether or not to legalize it.

Senate passes stopgap spending bill, averting shutdown

  Senate passes stopgap spending bill, averting shutdown The Republican-held Senate has passed a temporary government-wide spending bill that would keep federal agencies up and running through Dec. 20.

The House passed a pro-Hong Kong rights bill on Wednesday, putting President Donald Trump in a bind as he tries not to roil high-stakes trade talks with House committee approves landmark bill legalizing marijuana at the federal level . Target CEO says cost of handling online orders drops 90

A BILL proposal that could help to make marijuana legal across the whole of America has been passed . House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said the drug shouldn't be a criminal justice "Arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating users at the federal level is unwise and unjust.

(MORE: Advocates want legalized cannabis boom to help communities hurt when marijuana was illegal)

Biden's lukewarm approach to marijuana has put him at odds with other 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who have each supported sweeping legislation to reform how the criminal justice system deals with the drug.

Fellow candidates California Sen. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker have also released plans to legalize marijuana if they're elected to the White House.

(MORE: 2020 candidates suggest decriminalizing marijuana, improving police training)

While similar bills have been introduced in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell noted he doesn't "have any to endorse the legalization of marijuana," as he told reporters in December, despite his approval last year of a farm bill that would legalize hemp.

Still, while the House is a step closer to legalizing cannabis across the U.S., it isn't likely the bill will be signed into law by President Donald Trump, who has openly opposed pro-legalization legislation, even if it ended up on his desk.

Trump even donated part of his salary in 2019 to pay for a promotional campaign highlighting the negative effects of marijuana use, as Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement in August.

ABC News' Steff Thomas contributed to this report.

Biden rolls back stance on marijuana being a "gateway drug" .
The former vice president wrongly claimed that he had never said so in the first place. © CBS News screen-shot-2019-10-28-at-12-29-08-am.png "I don't think it is a gateway drug. There's no evidence I've seen to suggest that," Biden said in a conference call with reporters. Biden claimed that he never said marijuana was a gateway drug, only that "some say" it is. When asked about legalizing weed, Biden said "some in the medical community" say pot needs to be studied more to determine whether it is a gateway drug or could be harmful when combined with other substances.

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