How Will Congress’s Vote on Marijuana Legalization Affect State Law?
While marijuana is a drug that has been decriminalized or even legalized in a dozen or so states across the nation, at the federal level, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I substance – the most serious classification for drugs. Indeed, Schedule I substances also include heroin, LSD, and ecstasy.
New legislation that has been proposed at the federal level and that is set to be voted on next month seeks to change that. Brought forth by Senator and Vice President Nominee Kamala Harris – D, the MORE Act would remove cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act. Here is an overview of what that means for marijuana policy at the federal and the state level.
Bill Seeks to Remove Cannabis from Federal Controlled Substances Act
Most people would agree that marijuana should not be in the same class as drugs like heroin; some people think that it should not be classified as an illegal drug at all. The MORE Act, or Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019, would do two big things:
- First, as mentioned, it would remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances founds under the Controlled Substances Act; and
- Second, it would eliminate criminal penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana.
It is important to note that the act would not legalize marijuana at the federal level; rather, it would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.
What Would Passage of the Act Mean for States?
As stated above, many states have already taken action to decriminalize marijuana and a handful have even legalized its use. At the state level, the legislation would encourage the expungement of most marijuana-involved crimes; however, states would still need to take independent action to actually legalize the drug.
Unfortunately, while the bill would align federal policy with what many Americans support, the bill is unlikely to pass. According to an article published in the New York Post, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – R has made it clear that there are more important things for Congress to focus on.
What to Do if You are Facing Marijuana Charges
If the legislation does pass and you are facing marijuana charges, the charges against you may be dismissed. If not, however, the penalties for a marijuana offense can be serious. At the law offices of Brent D. Bowen, Attorney at Law, our experienced criminal defense lawyer can help. If you are facing drug charges in our state, you need an attorney who will advocate for you. Your first line of defense should be to seek legal counsel.
Call Brent D. Bowen, Attorney at Law Today
Attorney Brent D. Bowen has years of experience advocating for those who are facing criminal charges in our state. In addition to criminal defense services, our lawyer can also provide representation for those who are looking to seal or expunge a criminal record. Having a lawyer on your side when navigating the criminal system is one of the smartest things you can do.
To learn more about our lawyer and the legal services we offer, please call Brent D. Bowen, Attorney at Law directly today. You can also reach us online by sending us a message at your convenience.