Full cannabis legalization has never been more promising…
The Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would take cannabis off Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
Now that bill goes to the full House of Representatives, where it has a real chance of passing.
Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler‘s Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act) would effectively legalize cannabis for recreational use in any state that allows it.
It would gather a 5% sales tax on cannabis sales, with the money going to job training and legal assistance to those whose lives have been adversely affected by the government’s long War on Drugs. It would provide for expungement of the records of people convicted of cannabis-related “crimes,” and require federal agencies to adjust to reality by, for example, not denying security clearances based on cannabis use.
This is a very good bill. If it passes, it would be good for the industry, for those who paid for the years before cannabis was legal, and for the country.
Full Legalization Is Getting Closer
Other legislation, like the SAFE Banking Act, bills allowing research into cannabis, and laws increasing access for veterans are all great things.
But this is the bill people have been waiting for.
The Judiciary Committee is not some small, rogue committee in the House with no real influence. A spot on the House Judiciary Committee is one of the most coveted seats in Congress, and it has enormous oversight over some of the country’s most important laws.
Jerrold Nadler has been an operator in Congress for over 25 years.
So yes, the vote itself is a huge deal.
But that leads us to Congress.
You should know that Congress is probably not going to legalize cannabis based on this bill. Not this year, at any rate. It is unlikely to get through the Senate.
It might even not pass the full House, though I think the House might surprise political pundits there.
But that the bill is not going to become law doesn’t diminish its importance.
Like I said, the Judiciary Committee voting to decriminalize cannabis is historic. And, of course, if the entire House ends up voting in favor of this bill, that would be amazing.
But there’s an even bigger story playing out here…
The Normalization of Cannabis Continues to Expand
It’s all part of the evolving story of the increasing acceptance of cannabis. Even a year ago, the committee would not have brought up this bill. Whatever his feelings on the matter, Jerry Nadler would quietly have buried any bill to prevent his members from having to make a “difficult” vote.
For better or worse, that’s part of the job of a Committee Chairman; to protect his fellow members. This year, he’s sponsoring the bill.
The vote in favor of cannabis is no longer difficult.
Canada’s first phase of legalization sent sales surging to $210 million in just two and a half months… but what’s coming with phase 2? Check out our latest report on Canada 2.0 before December 16.
The final vote count makes it look like this is a partisan issue. Most of the votes in favor of the vote were from Democrats and all of the votes against were from Republicans.
But that’s not a fair characterization.
I listened to the committee proceedings, and many of the Republicans want to do something that legalizes cannabis. They realize that Congress is well behind the states and the American people on the issue. Many Republicans don’t support particular parts of this bill or they think that it is premature just now.
Look at Doug Collins (R-GA).
He voted against the bill but he said that he “believe(s) we need to change our attitudes and our processes because the federal government has completely failed in this area.”
Everyone in Congress knows what’s coming and they want to be part of history.
It’s outstanding news for the cannabis industry, and it sets the stage for a future legalization bill that will pass the House and the Senate and gains the President’s signature.
It’s probably not going to happen this year but, for the very first time, I have high hopes that it will happen as soon as next year.
Executive Director, National Institute for Cannabis Investors
P.S. With federal legalization of cannabis getting closer and closer, this could be your last chance to get in on the ground-floor of this industry… because once it’s federally legal, the big institutions will start funneling millions of dollars into these now-small companies. That’s why we’ve combined all of The Institute’s resources into one easy-to-use guidebook. To find out how to get your free copy, click here.
9 responses to “This Landmark Bill Shows Full Legalization Is Just Around the Corner”
November 22 2019