Last week, the US House of Representatives passed the MORE Act which, if enacted, would take marijuana off the list of Schedule I drugs – those drugs whose possession and distribution is a federal felony, as is the use of the radio waves to promote their use. As we have warned before (see, for instance, our article here published when an earlier version of this bill passed the House in 2020), because of the laws making the sale of marijuana a federal crime and prohibiting the use of radio waves to promote that sale, broadcast stations should think twice about any marijuana advertising, even in states where it has been legalized. Thus, the passage of MORE Act through the House should not be taken as a sign to start running marijuana advertising on your broadcast station.
First, it is important to remember that this bill was passed only in the House of Representatives. Without also being approved by the Senate and being signed by the President, the House’s action had no legal effect. Because of the way that Congress works, if the bill does not pass the Senate in the current legislative session, which ends in the first few days of January 2023, the whole process must start over again – bills do not carry over from one Congressional session to another. So, if Senate action is not forthcoming this year, a new Congress would have to start with a new bill, and a new House of Representatives and a new Senate would both have to vote to adopt the legislation. The MORE Act passed the House with few Republican votes, so if the composition of the House changes next year, that may not bode well for this legislation if it does not pass the Senate this year. Continue Reading House of Representatives Passes MORE Act to Remove Marijuana from Schedule I – Don’t Rush to Start Airing Pot Ads Yet