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The US House of Representatives will vote on whether to legalize marijuana across the country in September. This would be the first time a chamber of Congress has ever voted on removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act.
Cannabis was included as what is called a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act in 1970. Schedule I drugs are defined as having a high potential for abuse and no medical benefit. Other Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and peyote.
On Friday, representatives were informed the MORE Act will come up for a vote in the September work period of the House.
The MORE Act – Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act – will expunge some cannabis records and create grant opportunities for people who have been negatively impacted by the criminalization of marijuana in addition to removing it from its Schedule I classification.
Marijuana is already legal in 11 states, despite the federal designation as a Schedule I drug.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is opposed to the act, and some say the odds of it passing the Senate are very slim.
Even if the MORE Act passes both chambers of Congress, it would not make sales of marijuana legal. Regulation of marijuana would be left to states to decide how to handle it.