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House to take historic vote on federally decriminalizing marijuana. December 4, 2020, Friday, will mark the first vote ever of its kind on a federal level.

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The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act would also mandate a reassessment of prior marijuana convictions, invest in services for people caught up in the war on drugs and open Small Business Administration funding for legitimate cannabis-related businesses.

Despite widespread support from Democrats in the House of Representatives, the bill stands almost no chance of becoming law in the current session of Congress due to a Republican firewall in the Senate and President Donald Trump still occupying the White House. Biden campaigned in favor of decriminalizing marijuana.

But even after President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated in January, Democrats would have to pass the measure not just through the House again but also clear it through the Senate. The upper chamber’s majority control is still up for grabs — with two runoff elections in Georgia are scheduled early next month — but the legislation would be subject to a 60-vote threshold to advance through the Senate and on to the Resolute Desk.

Although the measure has collected dust since passing through the House Judiciary Committee last November, the timing of the planned floor vote more than a year later allows many Democrats to celebrate a promise to pass the bill before the end of the current session of Congress.

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