The United States House of Representatives gathered on Friday to examine and vote on whether to legalize recreational cannabis on a federal level. In a vote to remove marijuana from the federal list of illegal narcotics, Democrats beat Republicans by a margin of 220-204.
Despite the fact that recreational cannabis has been legalized in a number of states around the nation, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law.
When a substance is listed as Schedule 1, it indicates that it has a significant potential for abuse, that it has no presently recognized medical use in treatment in the United States, and that it lacks acknowledged safety when used under the supervision of a medical professional.
On Friday, Democrats and three Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, prevailing by a vote of 220-204.
It is widely believed that the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, which passed by a vote of 220-204, would fail to get the 60 votes necessary for approval in the Senate.
If passed by the Senate, the bill would delist marijuana from the federal government’s list of controlled substances, impose an 8 percent tax on cannabis products, allow for the expungement of low-level cannabis convictions, and advocate for federal and state sentencing reforms, among other provisions.