Getting *Green* in the House
The United States House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a bill entitled: The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. This act, if passed by the Senate, would decriminalize, expunge current convictions, and inhibit a sales tax on marijuana. While the house is expected to pass this legislation, the future of it becoming law lies in the hands of the Senate.
A similar version of this bill was introduced by the House in 2020 and was denied passage by the Senate. The main variance this time is the narrow margin that Democrats hold over Republicans. The Democratic party leader, Chuck Schumer, has drafted his own alternative to this bill with finance chairmen, Ron Wyden and Cory Booker. There is opposition on both sides regarding the legalization of marijuana. A 60-count vote in favor of, is required to motion the bill into law.
A House Quite Literally Divided
Republican officials Steve Daines and Dan Sullivan, who are representatives from Montana and Alaska, where marijuana is currently legalized, are in favor of passing. The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE) would permit financial institutions to offer banking services to cannabis companies and affiliates without penalties. The cannabis industry is a mostly cash-only industry, which makes it vulnerable to burglaries and sudden losses. Many business owners would like to take advantage of. However there is opposition on both sides to this bill, as well.
What Legal Marijuana Could Mean for You
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act targets the communities that are most affected by current drug convictions from the proceeds of future marijuana sales. It also prevents the federal government from denying the people benefits if they are consumers.
Nixon’s “war on drugs” has very much been a war on the people, namely minorities. A black individual is 3.6 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as opposed to a white individual, according to a report performed by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2020. This subjection continues even in states where marijuana has been legalized.
As of 2022, over 425,000 full-time jobs became available within the cannabis industry and total sales exceeded $25 billion. According to Steven Hawkins, chief executive officer of the U.S. Cannabis Council, “It is uncomfortable that you could have an industry that large, employing those many people, spread out over so many states and not given the privileges and benefits that most other industries in the United States take for granted every day.”
This brings hope to the cannabis community, to those currently incarcerated for marijuana, and the people in support of ending the stigma. We at the Happy Camper team hope this bill is passed and are dedicated to keeping our community informed!