The U.S. House of Representatives will vote later this month on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, effectively putting the drug in the same category as alcohol.

The MORE Act, which has over 85 cosponsors in the House, would lift the threat of federal prosecution for marijuana in states that have legalized it.

The Controlled Substances Act, passed in 1970, listed cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance, in the same category as heroin. When the House Judiciary Committee approved the MORE Act last November, it marked the first time that federal lawmakers had advanced a bill to “deschedule” marijuana.

The bill, which is HR3884 in the House, would permit doctors in the Veterans Administration system to recommend medical marijuana to veterans who live in states where it’s legal. It would also free the Small Business Administration to offer supportive programs to cannabis businesses.

Perhaps most importantly, the MORE Act would incentivize states to expunge the records of people with low-level cannabis convictions from long ago. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, co-Chairman of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, called the MORE Act “a chance to end the failed policy of prohibition that has resulted in a long and shameful period of selective enforcement against people of color, especially Black men.”


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