House expected to approve marijuana reform within weeks

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The chair of a House committee is optimistic that marijuana reform is coming

Things are moving forward in Congress to try and approve marijuana reform. According to the chair of the House Rules Committee, one of the most vital committees in the chamber, said yesterday that his committee, as well as the House, will be discussing the issue “within the next several weeks.” He added that he expects a “very strong vote.”

Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts made the comments in an interview with Boston Herald Radio. The Rules Committee is responsible for how legislation is handled on the House floor and he added, “We will guide it to the House floor for a vote, which I think it will pass with an overwhelming vote—Democrats and I think a lot of Republicans as well. If we have a strong bipartisan vote that will increase the pressure on the Senate to do something.”

Congress is set to decide on the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act. The legislation was filed last year by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Gardner, but it died at the end of the previous Congress. While it has not been formally reintroduced this year, it is already garnering support and would exempt marijuana activity at the state level, where legal, from the federal Controlled Substances Act.

McGovern added, “Whether it’s the Warren-Gardner bill or another configuration I would expect something would happen this year.”

If the bill gains enough traction, it shouldn’t face too much difficulty in the Oval Office. President Trump has already indicated that he would most likely sign off on the bill.