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Bill that would federally decriminalize marijuana passes House committee

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Published: Nov. 20, 2019 at 4:23 PM EST
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By: Anna Gunther | CBS News

November 20, 2019

The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill Wednesday that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019, or MORE Act, passed 24-10 after more than two hours of debate. It now heads to the full House.

The bill would remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances, allow states to set their own marijuana policy and require federal courts to expunge prior convictions for marijuana offenses. A 5% tax on marijuana products would also establish a trust fund for programs designed to help people disproportionately impacted by the "war on drugs," including job training and treatment for substance abuse.

"For far too long, we have treated marijuana as a criminal justice problem instead of a matter of personal choice and public health. Whatever one's views on the use of marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes, arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating users at the federal level is unwise and unjust," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said in his opening statement.

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