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The bill would “end decades of failed and unfair marijuana policies,” Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter said Thursday ahead of the House vote. “It is clear that the ban is over. Today, we have the opportunity to embark on a new path in federal cannabis policy that really makes sense.” Proponents of cannabis legalization have had success in the past by portraying it with Republicans as a state rights issue, but some Republicans who favor decriminalization are likely to be unhappy with the removal of cannabis-related criminal convictions and the equity grants. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., worked with Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., to create similar legalization bills in their chambers. The chances of passing such a bill in the Senate seem slim, as Democrats would need all their members and 10 Republicans to overcome the 60-vote hurdle required for a final vote. Instead, some Democrats and Republicans are considering a smaller cannabis bill later this year that could add one or more CAOA provisions to the SAFE Banking Act, a more widely supported bill that would make it easier for banks to offer financial services to cannabis businesses. This plan is still under discussion and nothing formal has yet been decided. He added that the law does not require any state to legalize marijuana. “This landmark legislation is one of the most significant criminal justice reform bills in recent history,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday of the measure. CORRECTION: In an earlier subtitle of this report, the date of introduction of the bill was incorrect. It was presented on Thursday.

Joyce`s office said it had reached out to Democrats to try to reach consensus on the best approach to revising federal cannabis laws. He sent a letter in February to Justice President Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), the main sponsor of the MORE Act, offering to work with him to create a bill more palatable to Republicans. Joyce`s office said they also had a meeting with Nadler`s staff to discuss their main concerns about the bill, but were not invited to continue discussions. The bill has been a long time coming — Schumer, along with Sen`s Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), proposed a discussion bill more than a year ago — and his chances of passing it in the Senate are slim. But the legislation will shape the discussion about cannabis legalization in the future, and parts of it will likely end up in other laws that could be passed before the end of the year. Several advocacy groups applauded the passage of the measure Friday, including the Marijuana Policy Project. The bill also includes other changes, including the following: Today`s vote highlighted the growing divide between parties — and even between Democrats — over how cannabis policy should be addressed. Despite growing support from GOP lawmakers for legalization and polls showing two-thirds of Americans support the position, only three Republicans voted for the marijuana reinvestment and write-off law. Nadler`s office declined an interview request for this story. His office told POLITICO that the president asked many Republican lawmakers to co-sponsor the MORE Act, but did not respond to questions about Joyce`s letter or Republicans` requests to amend the bill.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has proposed his own marijuana legalization bill and has pledged to introduce it in April. The MORE bill would require 60 votes to pass the Senate, which is unlikely. Not all Democrats in the Senate support legalization, and if the three House Republicans who voted for MORE are a barometer, it won`t get much GOP support. But the MORE bill needs 60 evenly divided Senate votes before it is submitted for signature by President Joe Biden, an outcome widely seen as unlikely given the lack of Republican support for the measure. The tax would start at 5% and eventually increase to 8%. The funds raised through the tax would go into a fund to provide job training, mentoring, drug treatment, legal aid, reintegration services and recreation programs for youth. It would also provide loans to help small businesses in the cannabis industry that are “owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals,” according to a summary of the bill. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to introduce his own cannabis bill soon, but currently doesn`t have the votes of Democrats to pass it, let alone Republicans overcoming a filibuster. High Government: The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill to eliminate cannabis and tax the sale of marijuana. Despite the fact that the vast majority of Americans are in favor of legal marijuana, there have been many detractors in the house. Cliff Bentz, a Republican from Oregon, has sided opposition to the bill, saying MORE is a “bad and incomplete bill.” The delegation from southern Oregon, where illegal cannabis cultivation has become a pervasive problem for organized crime, says a better bill would fund police to tackle issues such as the illegal market.

That`s partly because many state lawmakers with legal markets don`t yet support meaningful changes to federal law. Democratic Senator Jon Tester, for example, represents a state where weed is legal — Montana — and says he does not support decriminalizing the federal government. A handful of other Democrats told POLITICO they either oppose legalization or are undecided, including Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.). Schumer would need all the Democrats plus ten Republicans to bring the law past the finish line. The House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that would legalize marijuana nationwide and eliminate criminal penalties for anyone who manufactures, distributes or possesses the substance. “I was a supporter of the war on drugs — I`ve been here a long time,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Friday, noting that black Americans are four times more likely than whites to be arrested for low-intensity cannabis-related crimes. “This bill is about justice and equal opportunity. so that Americans and America can become a better, stronger, more just, and more just America.” The long-awaited cannabis legislation was introduced on Thursday, but faces an uphill battle to pass it.

In his opening remarks, Nadler said that if the law went into effect, it would reverse decades of injustices against Americans, and especially communities of color. “Whatever one thinks of recreational or medical marijuana use, the federal policy of arrest, prosecution and incarceration has proven to be both reckless and unjust,” Nadler said. “For too long, we`ve treated marijuana as a criminal justice issue, rather than a matter of personal choice and public health.” And even if a bill were passed somehow, it`s unclear whether President Joe Biden would sign it. He has repeatedly said that he does not support the legalization of weeds at the federal level.

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