The House is scheduled to vote next week on a bill to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, announced Friday.
Mr. Hoyer’s office released an updated legislative schedule for next week that said the full House will consider the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, also called the MORE Act.
The MORE Act would federally decriminalize marijuana by removing it from the government’s list of controlled substances and removing existing criminal penalties for people who grow, sell or use it.
As currently written, passage of the bill would also expunge low-level marijuana convictions, provide protections to immigrants who work in the cannabis industry and impose a 5% federal tax on sales.
The bill would also establish and award grants meant for individuals most adversely affected by the War on Drugs, specifically including people with narcotic convictions and their immediate families.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Oregon Democrat and founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, called the MORE Act the “most comprehensive federal cannabis reform legislation” ever considered.
And the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the pro-legalization group better known as NORML, said the act itself of voting to federally decriminalize marijuana will be a first.