On Wednesday, a key House committee will draft a bill ending the federal cannabis ban, a second attempt to let states decide whether to legalize marijuana and provide aid to communities ravaged by the war against cannabis. drug.
The House Judiciary Committee will pass the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, or MORE Act, which would remove the classification of cannabis as a Class 1 drug with heroin and thereby end the conflict between federal and state law .
The legislation was passed by the Democratic-controlled House in the closing weeks of the last Congress and never made it through the then Republicans-controlled Senate. It was reintroduced in May.
This year, the new Democratic Senate majority is working on similar legislation, with U.S. Senator Cory Booker playing a key role.
The federal ban hasn’t stopped dozens of states, including New Jersey, from legalizing weed for medical or recreational purposes. But most federally regulated banks have been reluctant to provide checking accounts, credit cards, and other financial services to legal cannabis companies, and those operations have struggled to secure insurance coverage as well.
The House last week added a provision to its annual defense policy bill allowing banks to provide financial services.
The MORE law would also allow cannabis farms to receive loans from the Small Business Administration, while taking several steps to help individuals and communities hardest hit by the war on drugs.
This would require federal courts to strike out previous marijuana convictions and allow those currently under supervision to apply to the courts for a new conviction.
And it would impose a federal tax on marijuana to fund skills training, drug treatment and literary programs, loans to small cannabis businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people, and programs to help those hardest hit. through the war on drugs to enter the marijuana industry. .
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