US House of Representatives passes marijuana decriminalization.

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Friday, December 4, 2020. New York City – Today, the United States of America House of Representatives passed legislation that would decriminalize marijuana.

House Representatives voted 228-164 to pass the bill that would decriminalize cannabis. This bill clear the way to erase nonviolent federal marijuana convictions. The bill moves to US Senate. If the Senate pass the bill, then president Donald Trump would need to sign it into law.

Republicans control de Senate. If Republicans are smart, then they will pass the bill. It would be a historic moment and it will be a great opportunity for Donald Trump. Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he won’t consider voting on marijuana legalization.

Black people, Latinas and Latinos are disproportionately arrested for marijuana even though white people use marijuana at similar rates. Prohibition fosters an illegal marijuana market that benefits corrupt politicians, corrupt police officers, drug cartels, organized crime and others. The war on drugs (war on people of color) must end around the world.

Mexico could become the third country in the world to legalize marijuana.

On Thursday, November 19, 2020, Mexican Senate approved a bill that permits industrial, own – use and cultivation, investigation and adult use sales of marijuana.

Following the examples set by Uruguay in 2013 and Canada in 2018, Mexico could become the third country in the world to legalize recreational-use cannabis. New laws currently under discussion might make Mexico the world’s largest legal market for marijuana. The Chamber of Deputies needs to pass the bill.

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Interior Minister Olga Sanchez support the legalization of marijuana in Mexico.

United Nations commission reclassifies cannabis.

On Wednesday, December 2, 2020, the Commission for Narcotic Drugs, a United Nations commission voted to remove cannabis for medical use from a list of narcotics. “In reviewing a series of World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations on marijuana and its derivatives, the CND zeroed-in on the decision to remove cannabis from Schedule IV of the?1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs?— where it was listed alongside deadly, addictive opioids, including heroin.

With an historic vote of 27 in favour, 25 against, and one abstention, the CND has opened the door to recognizing the medicinal and therapeutic potential of the commonly-used but still largely illegal recreational drug.”

Polls show most people in Mexico and in the United States of America support the legalization of marijuana.

During the 2020 General Election, Green Party ex presidential candidate Howie Hawkins, was the only candidate that supported the legalization of cannabis. Howie says on his website howiehawkins.us, “While we are making progress the federal government continues to prevent the end of the prohibition of marijuana. It is time for change on a national level. The federal government should legalize adult use under federal law, and remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act so it can be used medically. It should remove restrictions on banks not being able to work with marijuana businesses.

President Trump has continued the drug war policies of previous administrations. He is now using bogus narco-trafficking charges against President Maduro of Venezuela as part of his effort to replace that government with a US-friendly government.”

Joe Biden opposes legalization of marijuana and has a long history of being a leading drug warrior.

“The criminalization of marijuana is a cornerstone of the racist war on drugs. Even after a decade of reform victories, one person was arrested nearly every minute last year for simply possessing marijuana,” said Maritza Perez, Director of the Office of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance. “Today the House took the most powerful step forward to address that shameful legacy. But the MORE Act as passed is imperfect, and we will continue to demand more until our communities have the world they deserve.”

Julia Conley wrote the article “’50 Years in the Making’: In Historic Vote Against Failed War on Drugs, House Passes Marijuana Decriminalization” on commondreams.org. It says in part, “The Democratic-led U.S. House passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act Friday in what advocates called an “historic moment.”

In the 228-164 vote, just five Republican members and one independent joined the vast majority of Democrats in supporting the MORE Act (H.R. 3884), which if signed into law would remove marijuana from the Federal Controlled Substances Act and expunge many prior convictions for possession of the substance. Only six Democrats—Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Conor Lamb (D-Penn.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Chris Pappas (D-N.H.), and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) voted against the bill.

Under the MORE Act, the federal government would impose a 5% sales tax on marijuana products, creating revenue that would go towards grant programs that would help people adversely impacted by the War on Drugs to find work and access re-entry services and legal aid.”

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) says on its website norml.org, “The House of Representatives voted to approve the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, HR 3884, which removes marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act — thereby eliminating the existing conflict between state and federal marijuana laws and providing states with the authority to establish their own cannabis laws free from undue federal interference.

This is an historic day for marijuana policy in the United States. This vote marks the first time in 50 years that a chamber of Congress has ever revisited the classification of cannabis as a federally controlled and prohibited substance, and it marks the first time in 24 years — when California became the first state defy the federal government on the issue of marijuana prohibition — that Congress has sought to close the widening chasm between state and federal marijuana policies.”

The “war on drugs” will continue with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

New York’s 7th Congressional District Representative Nydia Velazquez: “Historically, communities of color have been locked out of traditional capital markets, and simultaneously disproportionately criminalized for possession of cannabis. The MORE Act takes a stand for our marginalized communities, decriminalizing cannabis and incentivizing the expunging of low level possession records. Today, I spoke in support of this bill, and of creating equal opportunities.”

New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio: “This is a historic step to right the wrongs people of color have faced in our unfair justice system.”

Senator Cory Booker says, “An overwhelming majority of Americans support ending the national prohibition on marijuana. Today’s vote in the House was a major and historic milestone in this effort. We must keep fighting until marijuana is finally legalized at the federal level.”

Full list of Democrats who voted NO and YES and Republicans who voted YES and NO on the MORE Act: https://clerk.house.gov/Votes/2020235

5/8/2018. Albany, New York State. Left to right: Member of VOCAL-NY and Kassandra Frederique, New York State Director at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). Photo by Javier Soriano/www.JavierSoriano.com
FILE PHOTO
Wednesday, May 9, 2018. New York City – On Tuesday, May 8, 2018, activists from different cities in New York State traveled to Albany, the capital of the state, to demand the legalization of marijuana in New York State with a focus on racial and economic justice. Left to right: Member of VOCAL-NY and Kassandra Frederique, New York State Director at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). Photo by Javier Soriano/www.JavierSoriano.com

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