The House of Representatives on Friday passed a bill decriminalizing marijuana on a federal level, The New York Times reports, noting the bill is likely doomed in the Senate.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act passed 220-204, with Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fl.), Brian Mast (Fl.), and Tom McClintock (Calif.) joining in with the Democrats, the Times notes. The bill removes cannabis from the federal government's list of controlled substances, levies an 8 percent tax on marijuana products, allows some cannabis-related convictions to be expunged, and urges "sentencing reviews at the federal and state levels," the Times notes. Small Business Administration Loans would also be made available to cannabis businesses.
Notably, when speaking during Friday's vote, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) quite comically called out a separate drug-related issue, this one involving freshman lawmaker Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) and his claims of Washington, D.C. orgies and cocaine use.
After calling into question the GOP's "paranoid tropes" of marijuana use, Raskin remarked that "our party is not for the kind of cocaine-fueled orgies that a freshman Republican representative bragged about this week," he said, alluding to Cawthorn. "But we do understand that their marijuana prohibition laws don't work for our people."
In the controversial remarks to which Raskin is referring, Cawthorn had claimed he'd been invited to orgies at the homes of D.C. insiders and watched leaders in the anti-drug movement doing key bumps of cocaine. The North Carolina lawmaker has since admitted his comments were exaggerated.
Afterward, Raskin's jab got a warm reception online.