The House passed a bill decriminalizing marijuana


Courtesy of MARCA News

Aislinn Jones, Staff Reporter

On Friday, April 1, the U.S. House passed legislation to decriminalize the use of marijuana, recreationally and medicinally, on a federal level across the nation. The vote against the issue was 220-204 in favor of legalizing marijuana. Representatives of the House, who were Republican, sided against the matter rather than in favor of it. On the other hand, Democratic Representatives sided with the bill.

The New York Times said on the topic, “The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, which passed 220-204, is unlikely to secure 60 votes to pass the Senate, despite the backing of the majority leader, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York.”  

However, Republican Representatives who voted against the Democratic legislation, along with supporters of marijuana decriminalization, agree all they need is 60 votes in order for it to pass in the Senate. They agree that it is an essential step closer to building unity on an issue that could possibly become law, while possibly creating peace from two opposite sides.

A similar legislation was attempted in 2020, but it went nowhere in the Republican majority Senate, who were predominantly against it. 37 states have legalized cannabis for medical use only, to relieve chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. 15 states have granted anyone above 18 legal access to cannabis recreational purposes.

PBS News stated, “In the Senate, Democrats including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York asked colleagues in early February for their input on a marijuana decriminalization bill. He said after the House vote that they were still working on crafting the legislation, but he hoped it would be introduced “very soon.”. In other words, if this bill passes, people who use marijuana medicinally or not, will not be criminally charged on a federal level. This will reduce the rate of marijuana related crimes and jail time.