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Will Congress Legalize Marijuana This Week? Hoyer Has Scheduled A Floor Vote




South Dakota may have the worst governor in the U.S, and because of her the state is approaching a scary statistic-- one in ten South Dakotans will soon have or have had COVID-19, just like North Dakotans. It's an anti-mask state. And Trump won there by a huge margin-- 261,043 (61.8%) to 150,471 (35.6%). He won 60 of the state's 66 counties. On the same day Trump triumphed there two marijuana ballot measures passed as well:

Measure 26 (medical Marijuana)

  • Yes- 291,754 (69.9%)

  • No- 125,488 (30.1%)

Constitutional Amendment A (legalization for recreational use)

  • Yes- 225,260 (54.2%)

  • No-190,477 (45.8%)

Republicans are currently trying to overturn the marijuana legalization in South Dakota, in which case potheads may have to go to Montana, Arizona or New Jersey, three states where legalization also passed this month.

  • Arizona- 1,956,440 (60.03%) to 1,302,458 (39.97%)

  • Montana- 341,037 (56.90%) to 258,337 (43.10%)

  • New Jersey- 2,737,653 (67.08%) to 1,343,596 (32.92%)

Recreational marijuana is now legal in 15 states and in Washington, DC. And this week, the House will vote on it. Right-wing Democrats, of course, were petrified of having it voted on before the election, fearful as always to be seen as being of favor of anything most ordinary Americans want. About a dozen Blue Dogs and New Dems from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party were defeated.



The bill being voted on, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act), was introduced by Jerry Nadler. It decriminalizes marijuana, removing it from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminating criminal penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana. The bill will also establish a process to expunge convictions and conduct sentencing review hearings related to federal cannabis offenses and it makes Small Business Administration loans and services available to entities that are cannabis-related legitimate businesses or service providers. There are 120 co-sponsors, mostly progressive Democrats but also right-wing Republican Matt Gaetz and a couple of Blue Dogs (2). A few dozen Republicans have said they will vote for it.

One of the lead co-sponsors, Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), issued a press release saying "the MORE Act is the most comprehensive federal cannabis reform legislation in U.S. history. Our vote to pass it next week will come after people in five very different states reaffirmed the strong bipartisan support to reform the failed cannabis prohibition. National support for federal cannabis legalization is at an all-time high and almost 99 percent of Americans will soon live in states with some form of legal cannabis. Congress must capitalize on this momentum and do our part to end the failed policy of prohibition that has resulted in a long and shameful period of selective enforcement against communities of color."

Biden doesn't favor decriminalization but McConnell's expected obstructionism-- as in not allowing a Senate vote-- is likely to save Biden from having to sign or veto the bill.



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