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House committee approves bill to federally legalize marijuana

Posted at 6:25 AM, Nov 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 07:49:13-05

(LEX 18) — The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill Wednesday that legalizes marijuana on the federal level. However, it may still have some hurdles to jump when it comes to getting full approval.

The bill removes marijuana from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. It allows states to come up with their own policies and gives them incentives to clear criminal records of people with low-level marijuana offenses.

The bill also includes a 5% tax on cannabis products that would provide job training and legal assistance to those affected by the war on drugs.

The legislation passed 24 to 10 and has a high chance of approval in the full house, where democrats control the chamber. A tougher battle is expected in the Senate though, which is controlled by republicans. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opposes marijuana legalization.

Right now, eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states and Washington, D.C.