On Friday, the United States Congress has passed a bill that legalizes marijuana across the entire country. In addition to decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level, the bill will erase previous convictions from people's records and impose a tax on the sale of cannabis products.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and ExpungementAct (More-Act) requires courts to clear prior marijuana-related convictions from criminal records and resentence those currently completing sentencing for such convictions and to receive public benefits for people who have been convicted of cannabis-related offenses.
The MORE-Act was passed by the House of Representatives with only a narrow bipartisan majority of 220:204 votes. "This landmark legislation is one of the most important criminal justice reform bills in recent history," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
A similar bill is currently under discussion in the upper chamber, but neither this bill nor the MORE-Act passed by the House are expected to clear the 60-vote threshold for passage in the Senate. Even if the MORE-Act fails in the Senate, it is opening the door to a more open perspective of marijuana at the federal level.
A total of 18 U.S. states already have laws that allow use and growing of marijuana for recreational purposes. Another 20 states have decriminalized marijuana or have allowed it for medical use. A total legalization and decriminalization would equal a revolution as over 40% of the total drug-related arrests are linked to weed.
The brewing industry is already positioning itself for full legalization, with nearly all major brewery groups already planning or having commercialized marijuana products.
Most experts believe that legalized use of intoxicating marijuana products will lead to a decline in alcohol use. In 2020, Canadian researchers have discovered that people who consumed medical cannabis will reduce or even discontinue their consumption of alcohol. (inside.beer, 20.10.2020)
Please note: This is not an April Fool's joke!