House Passes Bill to Decriminalize Cannabis

J.James

Seed Slingin' Outlaw
Staff member
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By ABBY HASH

House Passes Bill to Decriminalize Cannabis – The House passed a landmark bill on Friday morning that aims to decriminalize cannabis and remove it from the Controlled Substance list. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act also improves cannabis industry banking, imposes a five percent tax on cannabis products, establishes a trust fund to support communities hit hardest by the drug war, and alters the verbiage surrounding the word “marijuana” to the more accurate term “cannabis.”

This is the first time the full chamber has taken on the issue, having passed the proposal 228-to-164. The majority of support came from Democratic representatives (222 of them, in fact), 158 Republicans voted against the measure.

Though the Bill has been on the House floor for over a year now, representatives were reluctant to vote on the issue before this year’s presidential election. Following an overwhelmingly pot-positive election season, House representatives cast their votes.

Though the House successfully passed the Bill, it is likely to die in the Senate.

Understanding the MORE Act
The MORE Act Mission Statement is

“To decriminalize and deschedule cannabis, to provide for reinvestment in certain persons adversely impacted by the War on Drugs, to provide for expungement of certain cannabis offenses, and for other purposes.”
Simply put, the Bill aims to correct a failed drug war that disproportionately affects minorities and POC. By descheduling cannabis, the Bill would expunge most federal marijuana convictions. Notably, some last-minute changes to the Bill explicitly omit high-level traffickers from expungement.

Descheduling would also create more opportunities for cannabis industry banking. As it stands, cannabis businesses have limited banking options because federally funded banks cannot support illegal activity. Even if the business is legal in some areas, as long as cannabis is federally illegal, most FDIC-insured banks will decline cannabis businesses.

The Bill also reinvest in communities, particularly those hit hardest by the Drug War, by providing job training, health education, legal aid, and youth mentoring programs. It would also establish a federal cannabis justice office to oversee program implementation. The people would fund these activities through a federal cannabis tax of five percent.

Importantly, the MORE Act functions at a federal level only. States and territories would still have the ultimate authority over cannabis in their areas. As such, even if the MORE Act passes, marijuana will not immediately become legal in America. Instead, states will have the authority to regulate cannabis in their areas and will do so (or not) according to their own protocol.

House Passes Bill to Decriminalize Cannabis. Now What?
The House of Representatives has long consisted of a Democratic majority, which is notoriously pro-pot. The Senate, on the other hand, certainly is not. The US Senate now includes 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two Independents who tend to lean Dem on most issues.

Notably, Georgia is hosting an unprecedented runoff election this coming January to determine who will hold their Senate seats. Though Georgia has been a Republican state for many years, an influx of minorities and young voters might change that. According to Politico, the number of college-aged voters grew by 10 percent over the last decade, while the number of foreign voters grew by almost 85 percent.

Making the MORE Act Law
Before a bill becomes a law, it must pass through both the House of Representatives and the US Senate. Though either congressional branch can introduce a bill, both government branches must approve it.

After a Bill passes one branch of congress (in this case, the House), it moves on to the next branch for review, edits, and a vote. The second branch may make alterations to the Bill then send the altered version back to the original chamber, where they will vote on the newly revised Bill. The Bill will volley back-and-forth until both chambers reach an agreement, at which point the Bill moves to the President for a vote. Though the President can veto the Bill, congress can overturn the veto with a 3/5 vote.

Generally, the Bill only needs a simple majority to pass to the next chamber of congress. However, in some cases, particularly those that would alter the constitution, 2/3 of the Senate must vote favorably for the Bill (a “supermajority”). Extremely sensitive matters like government impeachment require an extraordinary majority (3/5 vote).

When it comes to the MORE Act, the Senate must pass the Bill with a supermajority vote. As such, even an evenly split Senate will have difficulty passing the pro-pot Bill unless way more Republicans can get on board with the move.
 

J.James

Seed Slingin' Outlaw
Staff member
Why the MORE Act Likely Won’t Pass the Senate
Though cannabis is a bipartisan issue (i.e. members of both parties support cannabis reform), Democrats overwhelmingly support the cause. Republicans, on the other hand, tend to be pretty evenly split on cannabis reform. Some Republicans support reform and the small businesses it would help. On the other hand, some fear the social repercussions of widespread cannabis access.

Though Republicans, in general, are more pro-pot than ever, congressional representatives often maintain rather old-school views of the plant and the company it keeps. For example, Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko still believes cannabis is a “gateway drug” or the starting point from which other addictions are born.

Some others have suggested that the Bill’s timing is suspicious or insincere. Many top Republicans claim that the Bill is merely a diversion from other, more timely concerns like COVID relief packages.

Moreover, if the Senate does not sign the Bill into law by January 3, the House must reintroduce it into the Senate. As such, it’s more likely that the House passed the Bill as a preemptive measure to show Presidential-Elect Joe Biden that the House is ready to move forward with federal cannabis legalization.

Though the party split is closer than it’s been in the past, it’s likely not enough to sway in favor of the MORES Act. This is especially true considering that it needs a supermajority to pass. If Republicans maintain a majority of the Senate, this is almost guaranteed not to happen.

Benefits of the MORE Act
There are many attractive features of the MORE Act. It would expunge cannabis convictions, support small businesses and at-risk communities, provide better access to cannabis banking, and settle discrepancies between state and federal cannabis laws. The Bill also establishes a trust to help fund drug and alcohol programs, which would ultimately be funded by an excess five percent cannabis sales tax. Finally, the Act would change all occurrences of the words “marijuana” or “marihuana” with the more appropriate term, “cannabis.”

Many in the industry praise the Bill for removing federal barriers. However, the ultimate goal is to reduce the harm caused by the Drug War. As mentioned, the Drug War disproportionately affects minorities, which has a ripple effect on their lives and the lives of those around them. Federal cannabis convictions may block people from finding gainful employment, moving freely throughout the nation, find affordable housing and schooling, and more. By expunging federal cannabis convictions and supporting minority-run businesses, the MORE Act hopes to level the playing field and give more opportunities to those who need it most.

Concerns Regarding the Bill
On the surface, this Bill sounds incredibly attractive to the cannabis community. Businesses could grow, people could work, and communities could thrive, all thanks to the MORE Act. However, upon closer inspection, there are some concerning aspects of the proposal that we must address. First, the Bill proposes a mandatory five percent federal sales tax on cannabis products without granting federal legalization. Essentially, they suggest that the federal government skims off the top of a program they refuse to protect.

The Bill also does not remove all cannabis convictions, thereby baring some people from entering the legal industry. Moreover, local jurisdictions have ultimate authority over cannabis law. As such, area municipalities may refuse to expunge cannabis convictions at a state level. In doing, they may maintain uneven opportunities and foster further reluctance for minorities to get into the canna-biz. Conservative states are especially likely to maintain prohibition in their areas. Consequently, minorities in these areas are still likely to face disproportionate reprisal as a result.

What to Do Next
When the House passes a bill to decriminalize cannabis, we rejoice. Then, we sit down and look at the Bill’s details and what they mean for cannabis in America. As long-standing community members, we know how desperately the US needs logical MJ reform. However, we must not be too hasty to celebrate. The work is not near completion, and the water in front of us is murky, at best.

We know that the MORE Act will likely not pass through the Senate this time around. However, we have a unique opportunity to analyze the contents of the Bill before it becomes law. As such, we must analyze all sides of the plan, both pro and con. Moreover, we must discuss our thoughts with our congressional representatives. We can still adjust the Bill in such a way that benefits all Americans, not just those who live in cannabis-friendly areas. We urge our readers to contact local representatives with concerns regarding the MORE Act. Importantly, we must always remember to stand by our brothers and sisters as we develop marijuana reform that works for all of us.

Despite all the cannabis industry hurdles, one thing is sure: we have a voice, and we must use it. More importantly, as advocates, we must never give up the fight for fair, reliable cannabis and hemp reform. The passing of the MORE Act is another cog in the wheel, pushing us toward the future we all deserve.

Cont. Link Below to Greenpoints article
House Passes Bill to Decriminalize Cannabis | Greenpoint Seeds
 

619KGB

Trimmer
Meanwhile...

Xiden White House asks staffers to resign over past marijuana use


A number of White House staffers were asked to resign or demoted for past marijuana use — regardless of whether those employees had been in one of the 14 states where the drug is legal, according to a report.
The Xiden administration had required workers to disclose past marijuana use on a background check form, but told some new hires that it would “overlook” those who answered yes, the Daily Beast reported.
Despite this, White House director of management and administration Anne Filipic reportedly led a series of one-on-one calls with staffers this month, asking those who admitted to past marijuana use to resign or be placed in a remote work program.

“It’s exclusively targeting younger staff and staff who came from states where it was legal,” one former staffer told the Beast.
The move comes after the administration officially updated its guidelines earlier this year to allow for “limited” use of the drug in the past.
 

TreeFarmerCharlie

ASSHOLE ON A GREEN BANNER
Rule #1....Never admit to drug use on employment forms/employment situations. Ditto with criminal background history. It's also not a good idea to tell your physician about your drug use. Not if you want any good drugs, that is.

Been there, done that. Yup.
You don’t have a choice if you are applying for a federal govt job that requires a clearance. Falsified information on a clearance application is actually a federal felony. If you want to work for the feds then you have to play by their rules. Also, if you are being treated for anxiety or depression then you should definitely tell your doctor about your drug use because it could be part of the cause of your anxiety and they will be able to figure the usage into their diagnosis. It took me awhile to realize how much daily consumption was fucking with my anxiety.
 

Bodyne

Freebie Whisperer
Site Supporter
You don’t have a choice if you are applying for a federal govt job that requires a clearance. Falsified information on a clearance application is actually a federal felony. If you want to work for the feds then you have to play by their rules. Also, if you are being treated for anxiety or depression then you should definitely tell your doctor about your drug use because it could be part of the cause of your anxiety and they will be able to figure the usage into their diagnosis. It took me awhile to realize how much daily consumption was fucking with my anxiety.
Yes, they just let a bunch of staffers go in the white house per. And Charlie, don't paint everyone with your brush, just cause you had anxiety and couldn't handle it or wrong strains, etc.,

Also, it's nice to note that all these house bills being passed, never pass senate. Sucks, way it is.
 

Bodyne

Freebie Whisperer
Site Supporter
Told my first psych Dr in oregone I was a legal med patient and first thing he say you gotta quit smoking it, lol. The state paid his bill and I walked out. The med boards don't recognize it. You can't find a primary that agrees with it if they get paid for Medicaid or Medicare. Just the way the game is these days. You can find weed drs but they ole circuit doctors working for cash. And they won't be your primary, especially if you get xanax or anything scheduled. I know. I tried that route.
 

gwheels

Hobby Farmer
They sure as hell should. BUT it will slay the black market.

For me i dont give a shit....but today i got a flyer from the governent pot store...30% off.

1 oz of 23% weed for 103 CDN....75 USD It will be dry....it will support the man...but...people love Walmart !

I dont...the job killer wont get my money....either of them.

What is really stupid is why am i running 3k watts to grow for me....well covid made power super cheap so its 120 a month for all of that :D

Todays ramblings are courtesy of Doc Holliday...Kurple FantasyX Stardawg...A solid no velvet sledgehammer...i like it a lot
 

TreeFarmerCharlie

ASSHOLE ON A GREEN BANNER
Yes, they just let a bunch of staffers go in the white house per. And Charlie, don't paint everyone with your brush, just cause you had anxiety and couldn't handle it or wrong strains, etc.,

Also, it's nice to note that all these house bills being passed, never pass senate. Sucks, way it is.
I’m not painting everyone with the same brush. All I’m saying is self medicating isn’t very smart, for anyone who has severe anxiety or depression, especially when it could be clashing with your current treatment. If you have a Dr that is full out against it, and isn’t factoring it into your therapy, then you just need a better doctor.

I see shrinks at the VA and they have never told me even once to stop. They’ve just told me to monitor my anxiety and see if it gets worse when I smoke…and it does. It has nothing to do with me smoking the wrong strains, either.

I’m just one of the few who became obnoxiously sensitive to THC as I’ve aged. I’ve been thinning out THC flower with CBD flower recently, to see just how little it takes to make my anxiety spike, and it’s crazy how little it takes. A .75g joint with only 0.1g of flower with about 20% THC seems to give me the perfect high. If I go higher than that it makes my mind race and my anxiety spikes.
 

Bodyne

Freebie Whisperer
Site Supporter
I have heard that bout the VA docs. At least they'll talk bout it. Private or in network docs won't, or if they do have a favorable view, all they'll do is talk. And most all psychs are against it. Crazy thing, I'm opposite exactly of you, strong weed is only thing helps me, not those racy sats of course. Not the xanax they prescribe not the antidepressants I've tried em all. Pain is prolly big factor I choose no surgery and no pain killers. Quit drinking. Ongoing process. Maybe I lay off you from now on, all things considered
 

TreeFarmerCharlie

ASSHOLE ON A GREEN BANNER
I have heard that bout the VA docs. At least they'll talk bout it. Private or in network docs won't, or if they do have a favorable view, all they'll do is talk. And most all psychs are against it. Crazy thing, I'm opposite exactly of you, strong weed is only thing helps me, not those racy sats of course. Not the xanax they prescribe not the antidepressants I've tried em all. Pain is prolly big factor I choose no surgery and no pain killers. Quit drinking. Ongoing process. Maybe I lay off you from now on, all things considered
That’s a shame about docs outside of the VA, you’d think they’d be the ones more understanding about it. I really wish it helped with my anxiety because I love smoking and vaping bud. I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in 14 years now and don’t miss that shit one bit.
 

stiickygreen

Passing to the Left
Staff member
My dad worked for the FED......then my brother joined in and did his time. I saw what working for the FED did to my brother (went from stoner to rightneck)....so never followed that same path. Probably couldn't have anyway even if I'd wanted to after they did all of his background checks/etc. and....according to him...talked more/asked more questions about me/my arrests for weed/drugsetc. than they talked/asked him/focused on his past. (he was never arrested/busted like I was). :ROFLMAO:

We're all different >inside<. I thought I was depressed for years until my son died and I experienced true, chronic depression. Even from that depth.......I turned down multiple offers of SSRI's/tranqs/etc.......and chose instead to just face shit fuckin-head on. No pill can cure such pain.....and I've eaten enough pills to know that they come with their own baggage and rarely "fix" anything. From my experience/IMO....they just numb or delay or cancel out the things you >should< feel....thus...you miss out completely on learning/growing inside Again though...we are all different chemically inside and if that approach works for someone else...more power to 'em.

But I do need my THC..so I get it...fully. What works....works. What doesn't...doesn't. I'm in the camp with @Bodyne in that weed has always been my constant. Like food and water and air....it's always in the mix. I grow so I don't have to worry about running out...ever...cus that right there will upset the balance/mindset...for sure. That'd suck if it sent me into a panic/gave me anxiety.....but I get it cus I'm one of those folks who eats narcotics and just rails hard all day long...like I'm speedin'. Weird stuff all the way around. I feel for ya @TreeFarmerCharlie
 

printer

Grower
I am lucky I guess. Mind you I had two shitty GP's, one on his notice form before you become a patient that if you have current chronic pain issues maybe you should stay with your current doctor. (My previous doctor up and left his practice) Anyway the new guy sounded like he got screwed from past patients and had a chip on his shoulder over it. New doctor is fine, young guy. My pain doctor, he is an anesthesiologist so gets how chemicals work on the body and he knows what works for one may not work for the other. Also being in Canada we have had medical weed for a while and being legal doesn't hurt. Now if I can only figure out what strain is best for me, can't take any THC in the daytime. Not if I want to get anything done.
 

JohnFonda

Tegrity Greenthumb
I’m not painting everyone with the same brush. All I’m saying is self medicating isn’t very smart, for anyone who has severe anxiety or depression, especially when it could be clashing with your current treatment. If you have a Dr that is full out against it, and isn’t factoring it into your therapy, then you just need a better doctor.

I see shrinks at the VA and they have never told me even once to stop. They’ve just told me to monitor my anxiety and see if it gets worse when I smoke…and it does. It has nothing to do with me smoking the wrong strains, either.

I’m just one of the few who became obnoxiously sensitive to THC as I’ve aged. I’ve been thinning out THC flower with CBD flower recently, to see just how little it takes to make my anxiety spike, and it’s crazy how little it takes. A .75g joint with only 0.1g of flower with about 20% THC seems to give me the perfect high. If I go higher than that it makes my mind race and my anxiety spikes.
Smoking CBD gives me slight anxiety for some reason.
 

gwheels

Hobby Farmer
I am lucky I guess. Mind you I had two shitty GP's, one on his notice form before you become a patient that if you have current chronic pain issues maybe you should stay with your current doctor. (My previous doctor up and left his practice) Anyway the new guy sounded like he got screwed from past patients and had a chip on his shoulder over it. New doctor is fine, young guy. My pain doctor, he is an anesthesiologist so gets how chemicals work on the body and he knows what works for one may not work for the other. Also being in Canada we have had medical weed for a while and being legal doesn't hurt. Now if I can only figure out what strain is best for me, can't take any THC in the daytime. Not if I want to get anything done.
Something like Dance Hall (roughly 7%THC 14%CBD) Sativa dom hybrid

Cannatonic

Bad Dawg Apollo X Atonic would be decent. I really liked that one for daytime and you can probably find someone who would have them to trade.
 
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