The House Judiciary Committee approved a measure Wednesday that decriminalizes and taxes marijuana on the federal level, the first time a congressional committee has voted to legalize pot.

The panel voted 24-10 to send the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019 to the full House. The bill, which has 50 sponsors, is expected to pass the Democrat-controlled House but likely to run into opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate where Majority Leader Mitch McConnel is against marijuana legalization.

“This is the first time that a congressional committee has held a vote on – let alone approved – a comprehensive bill to make cannabis legal,” the National Cannabis Industry Association noted in a press release.

“This is a truly historic moment in our nation’s political history,” Erik Altieri, executive director of NORML, said in a blog post. “For the first time, a congressional committee has approved far-reaching legislation to not just put an end to federal marijuana prohibition, but to address the countless harms our prohibitionist policies have wrought, notably on communities of color and other already marginalized groups.”

The bill removes cannabis from the list of controlled substances and leaves it up to states to decide whether it should be legal. It also would expunge the convictions for possession and impose a 5% federal tax on pot sales in states where it is legal.

If it becomes law, doctors at Veterans Affairs facilities would be able to prescribe medical marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder and other ailments.

“The criminalization of marijuana has been a mistake,” Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said. “The racial disparity in marijuana enforcement laws only compounded this mistake with serious consequences, particularly for minority communities.”

Rep Ken Buck, R-Colo., said he doesn’t think the majority of Republicans will support the bill and doubts the Senate even will take it up.

The American Civil Liberties Union has said marijuana arrests account for more than half of all drug arrests in the United States.

A recent study by the Pew Research Center indicates two-thirds of Americans support marijuana legalization, up from slightly less than half in 2010, with only 8% saying it should be kept illegal in all circumstances.

Eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use while 33 and the district have legalized it for medical use. Several states have marijuana referendums on the 2020 election ballot.

The House earlier approved legislation that protects banks that provide services to marijuana businesses.