The House will vote on removing cannabis from the list of controlled substances, next month.
The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and erasing select marijuana criminal records, next month.
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Marijuana would still be illegal on the federal level, but the bill will reduce the legal penalties for cannabis use.
"As people across the country protest racial injustices, there’s even greater urgency for Congress to seize this historic opportunity and finally align our cannabis laws with what the majority of Americans support, while ensuring restorative justice," Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), told Politico.
Federally, marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it is considered addictive and not medically beneficially. Other schedule 1 drugs include heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy).
"Times have changed — marijuana should not be a crime. We need to start regulating marijuana and expunge marijuana convictions from the records of millions of Americans so they can get on with their lives," Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris said in a press release. "As marijuana becomes legal across the country, we must make sure everyone — especially communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs — has a real opportunity to participate in this growing industry. I am thrilled to work with Chairman Nadler on this timely and important step toward racial and economic justice."
As San Francisco's District Attorney from 2004 through 2010, Harris oversaw over 1,900 convictions for marijuana offenses; however, she claims her stance on the drug has shifted since.
Marijuana is currently legal in 11 states.