WASHINGTON — The House just voted to decriminalize cannabis, a historic symbolic moment marking Congress’ belated move toward embracing the views held by a large majority of Americans.
The House voted to pass the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act on Friday, the first time either chamber of Congress has ever voted on marijuana decriminalization.
The final vote was 228-164, with most Democrats joined by 5 Republicans and an independent to pass the legislation.
The bill is a major symbolic victory for marijuana rights advocates and criminal justice reform.
But it’s likely not going anywhere anywhere soon: Senate Republicans have indicated there’s no appetite to pass the measure.
The bill would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, allowing states to regulate it as they see fit.
In spite of strong evidence of its medicinal properties, marijuana remains a Schedule I drug along with hard drugs like heroin. »