US House passes historic bill that would decriminalize cannabis on the federal level

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FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2019 file photo, marijuana grows at an indoor cannabis farm in Gardena, Calif. In what could be a temporary victory for California’s legal cannabis industry, a state judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to overturn a state rule allowing home deliveries statewide, even into communities that banned commercial marijuana sales. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a historic bill that would decriminalize cannabis, ending a federal ban and creating potential to expunge related criminal records.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act would remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances as well as eliminate criminal action for people who distribute or possess marijuana.

The bill would also establish a trust fund to support programs and services for individuals and businesses in communities impacted by the war on drugs.

The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore. and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D.-NY. The bill passed the House Friday and is now moving to the Senate for a vote. The House is controlled by Democrats whereas the Senate has a Republican majority.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 36 states and four territories have approved measures to regulate cannabis for medical use. Fifteen states and three territories have approved regulated cannabis for adult-use.

On the global scale, U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs voted Wednesday to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from a category of the world’s most dangerous drugs, which could impact the global medical marijuana industry.

The Vienna-based U.N. agency said in a statement that it had voted 27-25, with one abstention, to follow the World Health Organization’s recommendation to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs, where it was listed with heroin and several other opioids.

Wednesday’s vote therefore does not clear U.N. member nations to legalize cannabis under the international drug control system. Canada and Uruguay have legalized the sale and use of cannabis for recreational purposes, but many countries around the world have decriminalized marijuana possession.

You can read the full proposed bill below:

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