A federal bill that would decriminalize cannabis use has been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives for the second time, but the bill's fate in the Senate is unclear. If signed into law, the act would resolve conflicts between federal and state law that cause confusion for employers—but state laws on medical and recreational marijuana use would still vary.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, H.R. 3617, passed the House in a 220-204 vote on April 1 with all but two Democrats voting for the measure and all but three Republicans voting against it.
Marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act, which means it is deemed to have a high potential for abuse and no medical value. The MORE Act would deschedule marijuana, remove criminal sanctions and provide some relief for past convictions.
What would the act mean for the workplace? States would still regulate cannabis and would not be required to legalize its use. Currently, 37 states have approved medical marijuana use, and 18 of those states and Washington, D.C., also have approved recreational use.