The US House of Representatives has passed the MORE act! But does it mean cannabis is legal now?
See, legal marijuana in the states isn’t that simple. The House of Representatives has approved of cannabis to be taken down the list of scheduled drugs. But there is still a lot to take into account. Now, the bill needs to go to the Senate, and after that, the white house. It would get its final seal only after it is signed by the President. As you can see, there is still a long road to travel.
But Then Why is Everyone Making it a Big Deal?
Well, because it’s still huge! Marijuana, which was illegal for so many decades, has finally taken a step towards something great. And this obviously calls for a celebration!
Cannabis has come a long way from its “for hippies” reputation of the 60s. People today understand and accept the medicinal aspects of it (obviously not at the federal level). And now, this majority vote by the congress members- This is something big! And it obviously needs to be treated that way.
Another important thing about this “big deal” is that “this celebration is important.”
Because, as we discussed, the bill is now in the hands of the Senate, which is currently anti-cannabis, and then it will go to the president-elect, who supports decriminalization but not legalization. Thus, celebrating this victory at the House of Representatives level will give this deed the momentum it needs.
What Exactly The MORE Act is All About?
The MORE (Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement) Act was passed by the Congress members with a count of 228-164. This is a huge deal as it’s gonna do a lot for a normal cannabis user. Here are a few points that you should know about the MORE act.
MORE is going to be retrospective
What we mean by retrospective is that, along with the cannabis user in the future, it will help those too who have a previous record of it. As per the bill, the amendments made here shall apply equally to any past marijuana-related case- convictions, pending cases, and recent offenses.
The Introduction of Federal Sales Tax
The MORE act also introduces a legalization tax, which would account for 5 percent of the price of a marijuana product. And the government will create a new Cannabis Justice Office that will use this tax money to carry out certain functions including job training, literacy programs, reentry services, aid for marijuana-related cases, youth programs, etc.
The Introduction of a Licensing Board
The act will introduce a licensing board to oversee the cannabis licensing program. This board will get a grant from the MORE act tax money only and would check if the industry is diverse enough or not.
Small Businesses Would Get Help
There will be no discrimination against the marijuana businesses on the part of the Small Business Administration for loans or any other type of help.
It Includes immigration Reform
The act also says that no person will be denied its benefits during immigration. In simple language, cannabis won’t work as a trigger for asylum rejection or deportation.
What Should You Not Expect?
Even though the MORE act has gotten a nod in the House of Representatives, the legalization of cannabis at the federal level is still not any nearer. And it surely isn’t the end of the era of medical marijuana card online. You must understand that the MORE act is just a card that allows states to go their way in regard to cannabis. There are still many states that are anti-cannabis. And they are probably going to stay that way even after the passing of the MORE act. People will still suffer unnecessarily due to cannabis use. And marijuana will still be ridiculed, which is unfortunate.
Sure, the act is a great step toward marijuana legalization. But still, the game is colossal. And in that term, there is still a lot more that needs to be done.