U.S. House to vote on decriminalizing marijuana, expunging some cannabis convictions

The U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on a bill that would decriminalize marijuana and expunge nonviolent federal cannabis convictions.

The measure would remove marijuana from the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances in all instances where it is referenced in current law, and apply this change retroactively. Schedule 1 controlled substances, which also include methamphetamine and heroin, are considered by the Drug Enforcement Administration to have a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use.

The bill would also expunge federal offenses related to marijuana and require resentencing for those currently under any form of supervision.

To address communities affected by the set of policies known as the “War on Drugs,” it would establish a five percent tax on all cannabis products to be deposited into a trust fund to pay for job training, literacy and legal aid programs for affected communities, which are disproportionally minority.