U.S. House to Vote on MORE Act Next Month

The U.S. House is set to vote on the MORE Act, which would decriminalize cannabis at the federal level and expunge convictions for non-violent cannabis crimes, after delaying the vote in September to focus on coronavirus relief.

Full story after the jump.

The U.S. House is set to vote on a bill to decriminalize cannabis federally after delaying the vote in September to focus on a coronavirus relief package, Politico reports. In a letter to colleagues, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer did not provide an exact date for the vote, which would occur during a lame-duck session.

“The House will vote on the MORE Act to decriminalize cannabis and expunge convictions for non-violent cannabis offenses that have prevented many Americans from getting jobs, applying for credit and loans, and accessing opportunities that make it possible to get ahead in our economy.” – Hoyer in the letter via Politico

The House is scheduled to hold session on December 1-4 and 7-10.

Cannabis Caucus Co-chair Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) cited the Election Day success of cannabis-related ballot initiatives in New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana, Arizona, and Mississippi as evidence “it’s more important than ever for Congress to catch up.”

“We’re going to continue building momentum so that Congress takes action to end the failed prohibition of cannabis before the year is out,” she said to Politico. “Too much is at stake for communities of color.”

A Gallup poll published November 9 found its highest level of support for cannabis legalization among Americans – 69 percent – since the pollster first asked the question in 1969.

In a tweet on Monday, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also pointed to the success of four states legalizing adult cannabis use during the election. He said that “it’s past time to end the federal prohibition on marijuana and work to undo the harms done by the War on Drugs, particularly in Black and brown communities.”

In September 2019, the chamber passed the SAFE Banking Act – a bill to normalize financial services to cannabusinesses – but the measure has not been brought up for a vote in the Senate. During the lame duck session the Senate will still be controlled by Republicans; however, that could change in 2021 as two Georgia seats are headed to runoffs.

The passage of the SAFE Banking Act marked the first time either chamber of Congress passed stand-alone cannabis reform legislation.

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