In what the the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is calling "the biggest marijuana news of the year," the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved legislation that seeks to legalize recreational marijuana use on a federal level.
The bill, which was approved in a 24-to-10 vote, will next be sent to the Democrat-controlled full House, where it's expected to be approved. From there, however, it's chances of becoming law decrease dramatically as it will need Senate approval before it goes to the White House. The Senate is controlled by Republicans, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell strongly opposes the legalization of marijuana.
The bill calls for the removal of weed from Schedule One of the Controlled Substances Act, sets up a five percent tax on cannabis products and offers incentives to states for clearing the criminal records of low-level marijuana offenders. Currently, recreational use of pot is legal in Eleven states, while medical use is legal in 33 states and Washington D.C.