The United States House of Representatives passed the MORE Act, a bill to federally legalize marijuana. Despite bipartisan opposition, the bill reached the threshold needed to pass. Notably, more Democrats voted against the bill than Republicans voted in support of it.
The lame-duck vote comes months after mounting criticism from both Democrats and Republicans forced House leaders to cancel a previously scheduled vote on the MORE Act. The bill and the vote have been roundly criticized by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and will not see any traction in the Senate.
Dr. Kevin Sabet, president and co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration released the following statement in response:
“The pot industry has won a post-season exhibition game, but they’re treating it like Game 7 of the World Series.
“The bill is a smokescreen for Altria Phillip Morris and their Big Tobacco gang of investors. As we have seen in state after state, marijuana commercialization does not lead to any tangible benefit for disadvantaged communities and social equity programs continue to be manipulated. Legalization simply results in rich, overwhelmingly white men getting richer while using predatory marketing tactics to expand substance abuse in the communities that were somehow supposed to benefit. Big Pot doesn’t care about social justice or equity, its only concern is profit.
“It’s worth remembering that when this vote would have actually meant something, it was cancelled. It’s an unserious bill that was voted on in an unserious manner. It’s proponents know it passed and died simultaneously, a rare feat even for this Congress.
“The Covid pandemic rages on. Millions of Americans are sick. Thousands are dying every day. We have record unemployment. That this bill, at this time, jumps to the head of the legislative line is a sad testament priorities of House leadership.”