A historic vote on November 19, 2019, approves a bill that would federally legalize cannabis.
Schedule 1 Controlled Substance
The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would legalize cannabis on a federally level on November 19, 2019. If signed into law, it would remove cannabis from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substance Act. A Schedule 1 Controlled Substance is defined as a high potential for dependency and no accepted medical use.
Examples of Schedule 1 Controlled Substances
- Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
- Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy)
Currently, the legal status of cannabis is in accordance to state laws. In 2013, The Department of Justice announced they would defer cannabis law to the state level. However, in 2018, the former Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memorandum. In other words, federal prosecutors can decide how to prioritize enforcement of federal marijuana laws.
Federally Legalizing Cannabis Is An Uphill Battle
In conclusion, although the historic vote passed the House Judiciary Committee, federally legalizing cannabis has plenty more hurdles. The bill will face challenges with the Republican-controlled Senate and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Mitch McConnell has expressed his disapproval of legalizing marijuana. If the bill makes it to Congress, it must be signed by the president.