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House votes to decriminalize marijuana at federal level

Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss Congress voting to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.

Video Transcript

- House today passing a bill to decriminalize marijuana, also setting up the process to expunge convictions. Jess Smith is following this for us. And Jess, it passed the House. Now it's heading to the Senate. So what's expected to happen with this bill next?

JESSICA SMITH: Well, it faces a pretty uphill battle in the Senate. It is not likely that the Senate takes it up any time soon. And advocates I talked to say, even if Democrats were able to win both races in Georgia, it still is going to be pretty tough to get this done in the upper chamber. But it did make its way through the House. For the first time ever, the full House considered a bill like this, and then passed it. It passed 228 to 164. Five Republicans crossed party lines and voted for it, and six Democrats opposed it.

So what this bill would do was end federal prohibition of marijuana. So it would end that conflict that we see right now between federal and state laws. It would also expunge some convictions. It would put a 5% tax on marijuana and marijuana products, and then that money would go toward funding programs like job training, education reentry, those types of things. But again, it doesn't look likely for a Senate passage. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris actually introduced the companion bill in the Senate on this, but we'll have to see what happens with the races in Georgia to really see if there's a chance for this bill to move forward.

- Thanks, Jess. And that, of course, is a big reason why we're seeing a lot of these marijuana stocks under pressure today. Canopy Growth, Tilray, Aurora among the names here trading in the red.