Historic House vote to legalize marijuana expected this month
David Downs September 1, 2020
The MORE Act heads to the House floor Sept. 21. (miralex/iStock)
A historic vote to federally legalize marijuana is expected to occur later this month in the House of Representatives.
According to statements from leading Democrats, the House will vote on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act around Sept. 21—the strongest step toward federal legalization ever taken by Congress.
“It’s the first-ever comprehensive marijuana legalization bill to ever be considered for a full House floor vote,” said Queen Adesuyi, national affairs policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) confirmed a MORE Act vote on the House floor in a “Dear Colleague” letter reported on by Politico and Marijuana Moment. A successful floor vote would federally legalize marijuana if the Senate agreed, and the President signed it. Senate adoption is unlikely this year, however. That gives the MORE Act a reported 3% chance of passing, due to Republican intransigence.
About 66% of Americans support fully legalizing cannabis and more than 80% support medical cannabis.
More than 663,000 marijuana arrests occurred in 2018, the most recent year for which data are available. Most of those arrests were for simple marijuana possession. Marijuana arrests are the leading type of drug arrest, and drug arrests are the most common arrests police make.