Here are the 3 House Republicans who voted to legalize marijuana, and the 2 Democrats who voted against it
- The House passed a bill federally decriminalizing
marijuanaand allowing states to chart their own course.
- Just 3 Republicans voted for the bill, and 2 Democrats voted against it.
The House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday decriminalizing marijuana — otherwise known as
Three Republicans voted for it, while two Democrats voted against it.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which removes cannabis from the list of scheduled substances and eliminates federal criminal penalties for marijuana possession, distribution, and production, ultimately passed by a 220-204 margin.
It also includes social justice-related provisions, including establishing a process for the expungement of cannabis-related criminal offenses.
A similar version of the bill passed the House in December 2020, when five Republicans supported it and six Democrats did not.
"I'm all for it," said
She also pointed out that dozens of states have already enacted new laws around cannabis, including 18 that have fully legalized the drug for recreational use for adults. "This is consistent with what is happening in many states across the country," said Pelosi.
Republicans largely voted against the bill, both due to their opposition to legalizing cannabis as well as their opposition to the social-justice related aspects of the bill.
Additionally, Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina has offered her own cannabis reform bill, which does not include much of the social justice measures that Democrats have touted and allows states to opt out of commercial cannabis sales entirely. It also would've set a minimum age of 21 for sales.
That bill attracted four Republican co-sponsors, including Reps. Tom McClintock of California, Brian Mast of Florida, Peter Meijer of Michigan, and the recently-deceased Don Young of Alaska.
Meijer, who voted against the MORE Act on Friday, told Insider that while he's "generally supportive" of expunging cannabis-related offenses from criminal records, he had outstanding concerns and took issue with linking that issue to legalization and decriminalization.
"I would prefer that we don't link those two, and we focus on sort of the federal decriminalization," said Meijer, adding that he had issues with the process and the lack of opportunities for bipartisan amendments to be heard.
"I support decriminalizing marijuana," said Pappas. "I am disappointed that the full House was not given a chance to support the bipartisan amendment I submitted to address these issues, including explicitly preventing violent felons, organized crime leadership, or anyone who has been found guilty of trafficking fentanyl from being let out of prison or having their federal records expunged."
And despite the passage of the House bill on Friday, proponents of federal cannabis legalization may have to wait. The prospects for reform are much slimmer in the evenly-divided Senate, where even some Democrats have expressed opposition to cannabis legalization and it may prove difficult to find 10 Senate Republicans willing to break the 60-vote filibuster threshold to pass the legislation.
Additionally, Senate Democrats have already unveiled their own bill to legalize cannabis.
Here are the Republicans that voted to legalize cannabis:
Matt Gaetzof Florida
- Rep. Brian Mast of Florida
- Rep. Tom McClintock of California
And here are the Democrats that voted against legalizing it:
- Rep. Chris Pappas of New Hampshire
- Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas
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