ibusinesslines.com August 17, 2018

Trump signals support for legislation easing federal government's ban on marijuana

09 June 2018, 11:11 | Erica Roy

Senate votes to pass recreational legalization of pot, bill now goes back to House of Commons

Senators announce bill to protect states' ability to make marijuana laws

Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., are rarely on the same side of a hot-button issue.

The federal ban that puts marijuana on the same level as LSD and heroin has created a conflict with about 30 states that have legalized pot in some form, creating a two-tiered enforcement system at the state and federal levels.

He said in a statement released Thursday that the federal government "is closing its eyes and plugging its ears" to spreading legalization, but Washington should not interfere with any state's legal marijuana market.

Trump told reporters that he supports Gardner and is considering backing the bill.

Another co-sponsor, Democratic Sen.

The bill was unveiled Thursday by Colorado Republican Sen.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has advised federal prosecutors to enforce the federal law. "I know exactly what he's doing", Trump said, referring to Gardner. Gardner has previously said Trump had promised he would support such legislation.

The bill would ensure that each state has the right to determine for itself the best approach to marijuana within its borders, and respect their voters' decisions on cannabis use.

Marijuana is considered an illegal, Schedule I substance by the federal government. Both senators hail from states that have legalized marijuana.

The bill would remove industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana and clarify that state-legal marijuana transactions do not constitute trafficking, an attempt to address banking and finance barriers the federally-illegal marijuana industry faces.

"We're looking at it", Trump said. Phil Murphy and state lawmakers on whether to make New Jersey the ninth state to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

"Thanks to the Attorney General, more people feel the urgency of the moment in changing federal law on marijuana", Warren said.

The bill would exempt states that have legalized marijuana from the section of the Controlled Substances Act that prohibits cannabis use and lists the drug as a risky substance with no medical value. The proposed bill would lift that restriction.

"It's time we take this industry out of the shadows and take these dollars out of the shadows", Gardner said at the press conference announcing the STATES Act. "Not putting words in the mouth of the White House, but I think this will be an opportunity for us to fulfill what is that federalism approach".

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