The bill legalizes marijuana on the federal level. It was approved by the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 24 to 10. In approving the bill, Democratic lawmakers cited racial disparities in arrests made in connection with marijuana. The criminalization of marijuana has been a mistake. The racial disparity in marijuana enforcement laws only compounded this mistake with serious consequences, particularly for minority communities, Rep. Ken Buck, CO, D., via CNBC. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws referred to the passage as the “biggest marijuana news of the year.”. The bill now moves to the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, where it is likely to be approved. The bill will probably face a tougher battle in the Republican-controlled Senate.