(12-4-20) The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday voted in favor of decriminalizing marijuana on a federal level (“Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act”), marking the first time Congress has voted on the issue of legalizing cannabis.

The 228-164 vote was along party lines, with five Republicans and the House’s lone Independent joining Democrats to pass the bill. Six Democrats voted against the measure.

The Republicans who voted for the bill are

  • Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, the bill’s co-sponsor
  • Rep. Brian Mast of Florida
  • Rep. Tom McClintock of California
  • Rep. Denver Riggleman of Virginia
  • Rep. Don Young of Alaska.

The Democrats against the bill were –

  • Reps. Cheri Bustos and Dan Lipinski of Illinois
  • Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas
  • Rep.Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania
  • Rep. Chris Pappas of New Hampshire
  • Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

“With all the challenges America has right now, (Republicans) think COVID relief should be on the floor, but instead, the Democrats put cats (The Big Cat Public Safety Act) and cannabison the House floor. They’re picking weed over the workers. They’re picking marijuana over (providing) the much-needed money we need to go forward to address the pandemic.”