This website contains adult material and is only suitable for those 18 years or older. Click Enter only if you are at least 18 years of age.or Exit
The federal legalization of weed is something that stoners everywhere have been wanting for years. We’ve been crossing our fingers and toes, wearing our lucky t-shirts every time there’s a bill being voted on, and generally hoping and praying. Finally (finally!) it seems like our superstitious efforts have paid off (at least a little bit).
A list of all of whom voted against the act at the end of this post.
The MORE Act (Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act), is a comprehensive bill that the House of Representatives just authorized. This is a huge win for the world of weed, even though it still needs to pass in the Senate. The MORE Act aims to do the following:
Remove marijuana from the federal government’s list of controlled substances (meaning no longer can anyone compare it to, say, heroin)
Impose an 8% sales tax on marijuana products nationwide
For reference, some states don’t have a sales tax at all. 8% is very high--even California’s sales tax on regular items is 7.25%, and it’s one of the highest in the country.
To our knowledge, this would override the sales tax on marijuana products in individual states. For example, the sales tax on weed in NJ is 6.625%--under the MORE Act, it would be 8%.
Allow some convictions on cannabis-related charges to be expunged
Make some Small Business Administration loans/services available to cannabis businesses
Set basic standards for cannabis businesses
Pretty much all good stuff! While nobody can say they want to pay an 8% sales tax on their weed, it’s worth it to have cannabis convictions expunged. If you think about it, it all evens out--you might have to pay taxes on your weed, but you don’t have to pay taxes to keep people in prison for a stupid “crime.”
As of right now, the MORE Act has passed in the House of Representatives with a 220--204 vote. Now it must be approved in the Senate, and it will need 60 votes to become a law. That means that 10 Republicans would need to vote for it, even if every Democrat votes in favor. It’s possible, but definitely tough.
Unfortunately, there’s no date set for when the Senate will be voting on the MORE Act. Keep your eyes and ears open--we sure will be!
The MORE Act has seen Congress before, but never made it past the House of Representatives. Why?
The short answer to this question is: Republicans. The long answer is a bit more complicated (but don’t worry, we won’t be getting into all the nitty gritty details).
Pretty much, even Republicans who are in favor of decriminalizing marijuana don’t like this bill. Why? They say the 8% sales tax would further encourage “illicit trading” of weed and weed-related products. They’d like to see a lower sales tax to discourage this.
Then there are your run-of-the-mill, crackpot-crazy Republicans. You know, the ones who refer to weed as the devil’s lettuce and think Jewish space laser cause California wildfires. There’s really no saving these people, especially not when it comes to weed. Maybe if they’d sit back and smoke a joint, they’d all relax enough to legalize it!
If I were to list every Representative who voted ‘no,’ this article would be miles long. That being said, the list is at the bottom of this article (so you can point at the ridiculously-long list and whisper ‘shame.’) For now, I’ll put it this way:
The fact that two Democrats voted ‘no’ was surprising to many, so here’s an explanation as to why they would vote against a bill that they should, theoretically, support:
Chris Pappas voted ‘no’ because he believes the expungement of convicted felons is too broad. He believes that those who have also been convicted of violent crimes, trafficking fetanyl, etc., should not have their marijuana convictions expunged.
Henry Cuellar has not made a comment as to why he voted ‘no,’ but he has a history of conservative ideals and voting habits. Somebody should roll this dude a joint and show him there’s nothing wrong with weed!
As far as the sweeping list of Republicans goes, this much can be said: voting along party lines is easy. It’s safe, it won’t get them into trouble, and it’s likely to get them re-elected. When it comes to career politicians, being elected is (in their eyes) usually more important than doing what’s right. Welcome to Washington, folks.
Now, there is a fairly interesting list of those who voted ‘yes,’ including three Republicans. It reads as follows:
Of course, we were all expecting the Democrats to vote ‘yes.’ Remember that voting along party lines is easy, and the three Republicans listed dissented in a big way. However, that does not mean they’re good guys! Check out the sleazy shit Matt Gaetz has allegedly done for proof of that. But, since we’re just talking weed here, let’s talk about why these three dissenters voted ‘yes.’
Matt Gaetz believes that cannabis is not a gateway drug, and that the government has lied to people about how “dangerous” it is for years. True, but he also has some of the most ridiculous opinions on the planet. At least he got the MORE Act right. I would still not vote for this douchbag.
Brian Mast has not offered to comment as to why he voted ‘yes,’ but he seems like a pretty chill guy. Thanks, Brian.
Tom McClintock, when asked about weed in 2019, said this: “Personally, I believe cannabis use in most cases is ill-advised. But many things are ill-advised that should not be illegal, but rather be left to the informed judgment of free men and women.” Whether or not he thinks smoking is okay is irrelevant--at least he voted the right way!
A lot of us probably aren’t happy with the way our representatives voted (unless you’re like me, and yours voted yes). So, what can you do about it?
VOTE THEM OUT! The most obvious thing to do is vote, of course! It sounds simple, but lots of Americans abstain every year. Don’t do that! Learn what representatives support things like the MORE Act and support them when it comes time to vote. It’s the best, and easiest, way to enact social change.
And especially vote in primary elections! This is even more important for my people in Republican-dominated areas--voting in primaries might mean you still have a Republican representative, but perhaps one who’s more moderate. True Republicanism and current Republicanism are pretty different, so focus on voting for moderate, down-to-earth candidates who more closely reflect your values.
Call or write your representative. This works really well if you get a group together. Write letters, call their offices. Tell them how you feel, use strong language (hell, say “fuck” if you want to. That’ll get their attention for sure). Use this site to find your rep’s public e-mail, or this one to call or write your senator.
Volunteer or work with a private group. There are groups like The Last Prisoner Project that help to overturn marijuana convictions that you can volunteer with. Sign petitions, write letters to incarcerated individuals, and share social media graphics.
The MORE Act is a broad, sweeping bill designed to federally decriminalize weed. It’s what stoners everywhere have been waiting for forever, but there are still tons of Representatives who voted against it. It’s time to take action to make sure that more progress can be made. So roll yourself a blunt, charge your pen, or bake some edibles. Then write your letters, sign petitions, and remember to vote.
And, most importantly, stay toasty!
As promised, here’s the list of all those opposed to the MORE Act. They’re arranged alphabetically by last name, and all but 2 are Republicans. Buckle up, cause there’s a lot.
Emma Grace is a full-time student, writer, and lover of Marvel movies. She spends most of her time ignoring her responsibilities in favor of reading, learning global geography, and finding new ways to prepare instant noodles. She lives with her parents and sister and a very needy dog named Eloise.