House votes to decriminalize marijuana

The House voted on Friday to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, mirroring laws implemented by dozens of states to eliminate or reduce punishment for the use and possession of marijuana.

“The bottom line is, this vote is about freedom, freedom of choice for Americans to make decisions for themselves without fear of the government coming and arresting them,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat.

Democrats took up the measure after postponing consideration in September when some lawmakers in the party objected to considering the bill before the election. The Senate is unlikely to take up the bill unless Democrats regain control of the chamber by flipping two Georgia Senate seats in a rare double runoff in January.

Republicans accused Democrats on Friday of “prioritizing pot over paychecks” by using limited year-end floor time to debate marijuana legalization instead of taking up critical coronavirus relief legislation.

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