WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives has taken a historic vote to pass substantial marijuana legislation Friday.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee was a big force behind getting it passed through the House.
The new piece of legislation called the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, also known as the MORE Act, would remove cannabis from the list of federally controlled substances.
“Thousands of men and women have suffered endlessly from the federal criminalization of marijuana,” Rep. Jackson Lee said.
“This does not mean pot would now be legal in the entire U.S.," said the Congresswoman. "It will simply remove the federal government from interfering with state laws.”
The act would also facilitate canceling low-level federal convictions and arrests related to marijuana,
and create a taxation structure to collect sales taxes on marijuana.
“The funds collected through this tax would be used to establish a trust to do good.”Said Lee. “To reinvest in communities ravaged by the war on drugs.”
Many Republicans have argued that it’s the wrong time to be debating marijuana laws when much-needed coronavirus relief should be discussed.
Zero Texas Republicans voted for the act like Congressman Dan Crenshaw.
“We should be voting on covid relief bills but we are not,” said Rep. Crenshaw.
The congressman says the bill falls short and is worried about its ramifications if marijuana is taken off of the list of federally controlled substances.
“How is a parent supposed to have a convo with their kids?” asked Crenshaw. "It’s hard for a mom to tell their kids that they shouldn’t smoke pot or eat edibles at a young age when it’s been normalized. when it's been legalized to such an extreme extent.”
There is talk the bill will not make it to the senate, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, not expected to bring it up for a vote.