In the last two weeks, there have already been two outstanding developments for the supporters of cannabis. At the end of November, the European Court of Justice clarified in an important decision that CBD is not a narcotic and also not a drug. On December 2nd, the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs finally removed cannabis from the list of the most dangerous drugs.
Now another important decision has been made, which will give a lot of impetus to the legalization debate worldwide. The US House of Representatives votes for the legalization of cannabis on a federal level, so now the Senate will have to decide.
Read more about the legalization of cannabis at a federal level in the US and find the latest cannabis news in the world with the Hemp.im mobile app.
Cannabis could be legalized at a federal level in the US
With 228 votes, the Democrat-dominated House of Representatives of the United States of America approved the bill known as the MORE Act, so that the 164 votes against could do little to prevent the legalization wish from being passed into the Senate.
The MORE Act, sponsored by Democrat Jerry Nadler, is designed to remove cannabis from the list of controlled substances and delete cannabis-related entries from criminal records. However, it would still be up to the individual states to issue their own regulations on the sale of cannabis.
Nadler said in a statement that the new legislation would help to remedy the mistakes of criminalizing cannabis and the enforcement that has racist tendencies. “This long-overdue legislation would reverse the failed policy of criminalizing cannabis at the federal level and take steps to address the huge injustice that this policy has caused throughout the country, especially for communities of dark-skinned people,” he said.
One of the few Republicans who voted for the bill, and in fact the only one who supported it in advance, said the development is absolutely necessary because the federal prohibition of cannabis is too restrictive for individual states.
Matt Gaetz pointed out that the fight against drugs has been lost because by now the majority of the population would no longer support the tough law enforcement strategy. “If we were to measure success in the ‘war on drugs’, it would be difficult to acknowledge anything other than the fact that drugs have won,” he is quoted on USAToday.com.
Although it will now be difficult in the Republican-dominated Senate for the MORE Act, proponents of the turnaround in drug policy already see a positive shift towards justice. “With this vote, Congress recognized the disproportionate impact of law enforcement on our communities and calls for a change in the unjust status quo,” said Maritza Perez, director of the National Affairs Bureau of the Drug Policy Alliance.
The American Civil Liberties Union recently reported that almost four times more darker-skinned people were arrested for possession of cannabis between 2010 and 2018, although they do not necessarily use cannabis more often than the white population of the United States.
Now it can only be hoped that the Republicans in the Senate will no longer want to support this fact, which, unfortunately, observers still doubt. Nevertheless, the decision in the US House of Representatives sends out a strong signal that must be perceived globally.
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First published in HanfJournal, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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