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House Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana

But the bill's prospects are dim in the Senate.

A few House members crossed party lines when voting on the bill.
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The US House of Representatives narrowly voted Friday to approve a bill that would decriminalize marijuana.

The bill passed with a vote of 220-204 on a largely partisan line, though three Republicans joined with Democrats in voting for it, and two Democrats voted with Republicans against it.

Reintroduced by Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, a Democrat, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and require courts to expunge convictions of nonviolent marijuana offenders.

Though the MORE Act had been expected to clear the House, the bill's chances are far slimmer in the Senate, where it would need the support of all Democrats and at least 10 Republicans to pass.

Three-quarters of US states have legalized marijuana to some extent. The recreational market alone hit nearly $15 billion in 2021 and is on target to surpass $25 billion by 2025. But the use, possession and sale of cannabis are still prohibited by federal statute. That's created a significant disconnect that many lawmakers are eager to reconcile.