Sen. Lindsey Graham Open To Medical Marijuana, Rep. Nancy Mace Votes Against MORE Act

By Nina Zdinjak

The House of Representatives approved the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, H.R. 3617 on Friday, sending it to Senate. The MORE Act removes cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act, allowing states to legalize cannabis, its production and sale, free from federal interference.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), viewed as one of the leaders among GOP representatives in favor of removing cannabis from the list of federally controlled substances, voted against it. Why?

marijuana legalization
Photo by Olena Ruban/Getty Images

“The MORE Act forces a system on South Carolinians and other states they do not want. By comparison, my bill, the States Reform Act, removes the federal government from the equation and allows states to decide for themselves,” Mace explained as reported by The State.

She presented her bill — the States Reform Act — in November last year, but the measure failed in 12 committees and seven subcommittees without a hearing.

According to Mace, the House passage of the MORE act may be a good start for creating a bipartisan consensus around legislation that would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, reported Marijuana Business Daily.

Mace added that she is eager to take part in a marijuana breakthrough in Washington DC. She revealed that one of her Democratic counterparts on the House Oversight and Reform Committee confirmed it will hold at least one hearing on her States Reform Act.

“This is a multibillion-dollar industry problem. It is not going away. And we need to have a bipartisan solution,” Mace said, adding that she has received a very positive reception from her congressional colleagues in Congress.

How To Get Republican Support? 

According to Mace, many don’t understand that her bill doesn’t actually legalize cannabis at the federal level, instead, it offers full control and power to each state. Mace believes that giving control to states and treating cannabis like alcohol is the only way for marijuana reform to obtain Republican support.

Mace added that her States Reform Act can save many lives and do a lot of good, in addition to saving the federal government money.

RELATED: House Passes MORE Act To Legalize Weed At The Federal Level, But Don’t Get Too Excited

“It’s a win-win-win all the way around for conservatives. It can be a huge win for everybody.”

marijuana legalization
Photo by Olena Ruban/Getty Images

She is also not optimistic about the MORE Act passing in the Senate or any other similar legislation in the near future.

While she might be right, like many other industry experts who doubt there will be federal marijuana reform this year, it’s obvious that cannabis legalization is slowly but steadily gaining wider support.

Sen. Lindsey Graham Signals Openness To Medical Marijuana 

Sen. Graham recently revealed he is “open to” medical marijuana as the MORE Act heads to the Senate.

“Medical marijuana, I’ve heard from many people in our state, seems to have some value,” Graham said per WMBF News. “If you can show me, and I think there’s evidence that it is helpful, then the medical marijuana idea I’d be open to.”

While Graham’s opposition to federal cannabis legalization, especially in the middle of an opioid crisis, is perfectly clear, he seems to understand the value of medical marijuana.

RELATED: Why Is The Co-Chair Of Congressional Cannabis Caucus Voting Against The MORE Act?

“One thing we’ve got to realize, opioids help with pain, but they create a lot of addiction,” Graham said. “There’s no easy answer here, but in terms of legalizing marijuana, no. I think it brings a lot of problems with it. In terms of allowing marijuana in controlled environments in the hands of doctors, that could be something I could support.”

Nancy Mace will be one of the many fascinating and knowledgeable speakers at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Miami. There’s still time to sign up for the event that will host many top names in the cannabis industry. Click here for more info.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.


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