Delay of MORE Act Vote Could Mean Sooner National Marijuana Legalization
Earlier this month, I wrote about a bill including marijuana legalization that United States House of Representatives Democratic leadership had planned to bring to the House floor for a vote this month. The bill — the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act (HR 3884), I noted, appears to have no chance of being approved in the Republican majority US Senate or of receiving a signature from President Donald Trump. This is because the virtually “Democrats only” bill includes race-based provisions and marijuana business subsidies that are anathema to many Republicans, including those who favor legalization.
Indeed, I wrote in my article about how the sole Republican cosponsor of the MORE Act thinks that, because of some of the provisions in the MORE Act that go beyond legalization, the House should vote on other marijuana prohibition roll back legislation instead of the MORE Act.
Here is an update. The MORE Act has been removed this week from the House’s floor votes calendar. Kyle Jaeger, who has been writing at Marijuana Moment about the MORE Act’s progress, suggests in a Thursday article that the bill will likely not receive a House floor vote until after the November general election.
Delaying consideration of the MORE Act until after the election may be the best move toward quicker national marijuana legalization.
Suppose Democrats retain control in the House and so do the Republicans in the Senate or Trump in the presidency, or both. If the Democratic House leadership had pushed the MORE Act through the House before the election, it would then feel more pressure to continue to push the bill against a brick wall, for months or even years. If, instead, the Democratic House leadership had held off on moving the MORE Act forward until after the election and sees Republicans retaining control in the Senate or Trump being reelected, or both occurring, the Democratic House leadership could then bring to the House floor for a vote a stripped-down legalization bill. Such a bill could garner significant Republican support and, thus, have a chance of becoming law soon, potentially even before the new congressional and presidential terms begin in January.
Marijuana legalization, separated from extraneous matters such as the MORE Act’s race-based provisions and marijuana businesses subsidies, has majority support among Republican voters.