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GOP blasts House Democrats for passing marijuana legalization bill

"I think it's an absolute joke," said Texas GOP Rep. Chip Roy, arguing that helping small biz, others amid pandemic is the priority

Updated: December 4, 2020 - 2:28pm

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Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy slammed House Democratic leadership for passing the Marijuana MORE Act on Friday.

The bill "removes marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminates criminal penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana."

Roy said the House should be focused on passing more Paycheck Protection Program funding to help struggling small businesses during the pandemic. 

"I think it's an absolute joke that the United States House of Representatives is putting on the floor of the House today, a bill about marijuana, when we have small businesses that are struggling. Why aren't we voting right now? Why aren't we debating? Why aren't we on the floor of the House working for the people who are struggling?" Roy said in an interview with Just the News before the bill passed the Democrat-controlled chamber.

"I've made no secret about the fact that I think we ought to have some deference to states on issues like marijuana. I've had some votes along those lines but this bill is a joke in terms of timing. And by the way, it inserts the federal government in areas where it shouldn't with respect to marijuana laws, instead of trying to defer to the states," he also said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office sent out a press release before the vote saying that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrats who control the House have decided to "puff, puff, pass on job-saving PPP and COVID relief."

McConnell himself criticized Democratic House leaders ahead of them bringing the marijuana bill to a vote.

“The House of Representatives is spending this week on pressing issues like marijuana. You know, serious and important legislation befitting this national crisis," he said Thursday. "But here in the Senate, I put forward a serious and highly targeted relief proposal including the elements which we know the president is ready and willing to sign into law."

Roy said there should be a "robust debate" in Congress about marijuana policy before a one-size-fits-all bill is passed.

"This is classic Democrats trying to shove us in a one-size-fits-all bill," he said. "I've got great friends on the Republican side of the aisle who would love to have a debate on this same thing with, for example, police reform six months ago; love to have a debate about things that we can do. Instead, it's all about politics and posturing."