House vote on marijuana legalization bill postponed after backlash from moderate lawmakers

Democrats in the House of Representatives postponed a planned vote next week on marijuana legalization following a backlash from moderate Democrats.

The legislationthe MORE Act, would legalize marijuana at the federal level and expunge some marijuanarelated criminal records, though it left the decision on the sale of marijuana up to the states.

According to a senior Democratic aide, lawmakers in tough re-election contests wanted the House to first pass COVID-19 relief before acting on marijuana legalization.

Another senior Democratic aide said a group of moderate Democrats had made the case to party leadership that they wanted to focus on legislation other than pot legalization given the risks posed at the ballot box – and their argument won over party leaders.

The MORE Act would probably not come up until after the election, according to two aides.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said in a statement the House would pass the MORE Act “later this autumn,” but right now, “the House is focused relentlessly on securing agreement to stave off a damaging government shutdown and continuing to do its job addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.” [Read more at USA Today]

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