Nearly all House Democrats, with the support of 5 republicans including Matt Gaetz, voted to decriminalize marijuana on a federal level. House Rep. Ilhan Omar says that the bill would (or should) feature a program to release currently housed inmates locked up over weed charges. Several states have already passed laws to decriminalize marijuana, but Federal laws often supersede state laws and make issues like banking complicated.
Drug legalization in the United States issue has been a hot-button issue for a very long time. While some states have officially decriminalized drugs like marijuana, others have taken a hard stance against all drugs including alcohol. The state of Oregon has gone to the extreme by legalizing all drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine for personal use.
Proponents of drug legalization cite statistics on incarceration from marijuana and personal liberty as reasons to support their stance. Opponents of drug legalization point to the condition areas with legalized and/or semi-legalized drugs such as San Francisco and Portland. Homelessness has ravaged these areas for years and the overwhelming majority, if not all, of the people on the streets living in filth are on drugs.
Proponents of legalized drugs also cite the issue of people who require constant pain management. This small, but valid, group of people are often shoved onto heavy, but legal drugs for their pain instead of softer drugs that are illegal. That could be a valid point, but it is more of a point for medicinal drug use like morphine is to heroin. “Big Pharma” gets a leg up in a legal drug market because with an increase in drug and alcohol use also comes an increase in pharmaceuticals to counteract the newly legal drug’s effects.
House Democrats still need the approval of the Senate and President before their approved bill can become a law. If, by some stroke of luck this bill does become law, there will be consequences. To what extent these consequences reach is unknown but simple guesses can be made by observing the places where these rules have already gone into place right here in the United States.
Oregon drug decriminalization: No jail time for small amounts of heroin, other street drugs – CNNPolitics
House Approves Decriminalizing Marijuana; Bill To Stall In Senate : NPR
House Votes to Decriminalize Weed