The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday voted to federally decriminalize marijuana, marking the first time either chamber of Congress has voted to end federal prohibition of the drug.
The Democrat-controlled House, which voted 228-164 mostly along party lines in favor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, celebrated the vote as a “historic” milestone for cannabis reform. It’s expected, however, to be a largely symbolic move, as the bill will almost certainly fail in the Senate.
Nevertheless, supporters say the vote reflects shifting public opinion on marijuana. The drug is now legal in 15 states, and polling indicates that the majority of Americans support decriminalization.
“We need to catch up with the rest of the American people,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a co-sponsor of the MORE Act, said in a statement.
We did it! 228 – 164.
— Earl Blumenauer (@repblumenauer) December 4, 2020
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), the only House Republican to co-sponsor the legislation, said the time had come to end the so-called war on drugs.
“If we were measuring the success of the war on drugs … drugs have