House Votes to Legalize Marijuana Nationwide, Expunge Related Convictions from People’s Records

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to pass a bill that seeks to legalize marijuana nationwide and eliminate criminal penalties for anyone who distributes or possesses it.

The legislation would also expunge the convictions from the records of people charged with related crimes.

The bill passed by a 220-204 vote with three Republicans voting yes and two Democrats voting no.

The three Republicans who voted for the bill were Reps. Matt Gaetz (FL), Brian Mast (FL) and Tom McClintock (CA).

Democrat Reps. Henry Cuellar (TX) and Chris Pappas (NH) voted against it.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) issued a statement on the bill, saying:

“For far too long, we have treated marijuana as a criminal justice problem instead of as a matter of personal choice and public health.”

“If states are the laboratories of democracy, it is long past time for the federal government to recognize that legalization has been a resounding success and the conflict with federal law has become untenable,” Nadler said.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), said: “Record crime, record inflation, record gas prices, record number of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border, and what are Democrats doing today?

“Legalizing drugs.

“Legalizing drugs and using American tax dollars to kick start and prop up the marijuana industry. Wow.”

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) said:

“I have incentives for states not to sell to kids or market or advertise to kids.

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“My tax is a lot lower at 3 percent.

“Theirs is eight after three years, and we all know that you’re going to guarantee illicit markets if you make taxes too high.”

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH), said:

“To responsibly end prohibition, the federal government must simultaneously issue a regulatory framework that works in conjunction with states’ specifics needs.

“The MORE Act lacks this critical element or any meaningful and immediate regulatory safeguards at all, leaving individual states to sort out issues typically reserved for federal agencies in the interim.”

“Make no mistake. Yes, it is a racial justice bill,” said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA).

From Fox News:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), marijuana is the most commonly used federally illegal drug in the U.S.

The agency said 48.2 million people, or about 18% of Americans, used it at least once in 2019.

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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