The House of Representatives on Friday passed a bill decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level, The New York Times reports, noting that the bill is likely condemned in the Senate.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act passed 220-204, with Republican Representatives Matt Gaetz (Fl.), Brian Mast (Fl.) and Tom McClintock (California) joining Democrats, Times Remarks. The bill removes cannabis from the federal government’s list of controlled substances, levies an 8% tax on marijuana products, allows certain cannabis-related convictions to be overturned and urges “sentence reviews at the federal and state levels. Times Remarks. Small business administration loans would also be made available to cannabis businesses.
Notably, during Friday’s vote, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) quite comically called a separate drug problem, this one involving freshman lawmaker Rep. Madison Cawthorn (RN.C.) and her allegations of Washington, DC orgies and cocaine use.
After questioning the GOP’s “paranoid tropes” on marijuana use, Raskin remarked that “our party is not for the kind of cocaine-fueled orgies that a freshman Republican representative got himself into. touted this week,” he said, alluding to Cawthorn. “But we understand their marijuana ban laws aren’t working for our people.”
In the controversial remarks to which Raskin refers, Cawthorn had claimed that he had been invited to orgies at DC insiders and had seen leaders of the anti-drug movement do cocaine bumps. The North Carolina lawmaker has since admitted his comments were overblown.
Subsequently, Raskin’s jab received warm reception online.