A bill to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level has passed the House of Representatives, marking the first time either legislative chamber has passed such a bill.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act aims to "address the devastating injustices caused by the War on Drugs." The lower chamber voted 228-164 to pass the bill with five Republicans voting in support of the legislation and six Democrats voting against it.
"For far too long, we have treated marijuana as a criminal justice problem instead of as a matter of personal choice and public health. Whatever one's views are on the use of marijuana for recreational or medicinal use, the policy of arrests, prosecution, and incarceration at the Federal level has proven unwise and unjust," said New York Democrat and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler.
Although 36 states have legalized medical cannabis and 15 states have legalized recreational cannabis for adults, marijuana use still remains criminalized at the federal level.