HOUSTON - Next week, the United States of House of Representatives is expected to hold a hearing regarding federal marijuana legalization.
According to reports, the hearing is expected to take place Monday. Then, the lawmakers could vote on the issue as early as next week.
The bill, called "Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act" would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. In addition, it would eliminate criminal penalties associated with marijuana and would issue a federal tax on marijuana sales.
"Marijuana should be taxed, controlled, and regulated, like we do alcohol and tobacco," said Ann Lee.
Lee, a conservative in Houston, helped create the "Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition" group.
"Just having a drink doesn’t put you in jail," said Lee. "Just using marijuana sensibly shouldn’t cause any problems whatsoever. Prohibition just doesn’t make sense. As a conservative, it’s bad public policy."
On Thursday night, FOX 26 randomly talked with people within Houston city limits about the topic. Everyone that was willing to speak on camera supported legalizing recreational marijuana nationally.
"[It would create] more revenue, more jobs," said Ryan Miller. "I think it’s a good idea. I personally don’t smoke, but anything to help the economy I’m all about."
"It would bring certain crime statistics down," said Amanda Espinosa. "I wouldn’t mind supporting it."
A recent Quinnipiac poll suggests roughly 70% of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized.
The national debate on marijuana is expected to take center stage in D.C. as early as next week.