The U.S. House of Representatives passed the MORE Act, a bill that would end the federal prohibition on cannabis by removing it from the list of banned controlled substances. This is the second time the bill passed the House; however, it will face strong headwinds in the Senate.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act was introduced by House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat from New York. It passed the House 220 “yea” votes to 204 “nay” votes.

Cannabis is legal for adult use in 19 states and for medical use in 36 states. This bill would end the federal ban, but leave legalization up to the states. The legal industry generated $25 billion in sales last year, a 43% increase over 2020, and is expected to hit $65 billion in 2030.

During his opening statement, Nadler said that the bill, if made into law, would reverse decades of injustices waged on Americans, and especially those from communities of color. “Whatever one’s views are on the use of marijuana for recreational or medicinal use, the policy of arrest, prosecution and incarceration at the federal level has proven both unwise and unjust,” Nadler said. “For far too long, we have treated marijuana as a criminal justice problem, instead of as a matter of personal choice and public health.”

Troy Carter, a Democrat from Louisiana, said that 91% of Americans want some form of cannabis to be legal and that there are more important priorities cops should be focused on. “Law enforcement cannot afford to chase small pot offenders when violent crime is on the rise nationwide,” says Carter. “The war on marijuana is a costly relic of the past.”

Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic Caucus chair, said there is a mass incarceration problem in the U.S, fueled by the “prison industrial complex” in America. He says former President Richard Nixon’s failed war on drugs disproportionately targeted Black and Latino Americans and noted that the fact that the U.S. imprisons more people per capita than China and Russia is a “stain.” Ending the federal government’s ban on pot would be a step in a positive direction.

“It has ruined individual lives, ruined families and ruined communities, particularly in communities of color,” said Jeffries. “It’s time to end the federal cannabis prohibition.”