The United States of America today took an historic and giant leap towards legalising cannabis throughout the whole country.
The sudden move has taken a nation – distracted by impeachment hearings down the corridor on Capitol Hill – by surprise, with news of the House Judiciary Committee-approved bill still filtering across all 50 states.
The committee vote was a staggering 24-10 in favour of advancing the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2019 which would remove cannabis from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act.
The next step for the bill lies in the hands of the Democrat-controlled Full House which shouldn’t prove too much of an obstacle for approving the full legalisation of cannabis. A trickier battle awaits in the Senate, where many Republicans and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell staunchly oppose legalising weed.
However, momentum and support are with the will to legalise, and the MORE bill will hand power to individual states to form their own policies.
It will also provide the power to turn over low-level marijuana offences, therefore removing hundreds of thousands of people from custodial sentences and easing the burden on US prisons. It is understood that cannabis offences account for half of all drug arrests throughout the US.