Republican Sen. Cory Gardner and Democratic Sen.
It would not only repeal federal prohibitions, but bolster protections for states that have chosen to legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use by removing it from the federal list of illegal drugs.
Warren introduced the bill alongside Colorado Sen. An additional 20 states permit marijuana for medical use. Elizabeth Warren of MA, said in a statement that Washington "needs to get out of the business of outlawing marijuana", according to AP. Gardner and Warren, both supporters of marijuana legalization by states, developed the bill in response to Sessions' action. Phil Murphy and state lawmakers on whether to make New Jersey the ninth state to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
In scrapping what's known as the Cole memo, Sessions unilaterally determined that the federal government should have the authority to crack down on marijuana sales.
At a Thursday press conference regarding the new bill, Gardner said he had spoken to the president about the legislation. "They hurt businesses who are in the marijuana business from getting access to banking services".
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"That forces a multi-billion dollar industry to operate all in cash, that's bad for business and bad for safety", said Sen.
The bill would change the definition of marijuana in federal drug law to exclude industrial hemp, which like marijuana is part of the cannabis plant family but doesn't contain the THC that gives pot users the high. In January he rescinded Obama-era guidelines that deprioritized enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that had legalized it.
In April, President Trump and Gardner reached a deal in which the president promised to support a bill to protect states' right to choose whether to legalize marijuana within their borders in exchange for Gardner lifting his embargo. Gardner. I know exactly what he's doing.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has advised federal prosecutors to enforce the federal law. But, he said, "We view its structure and substance as a clear signal that the broader policy trajectory is bending towards a clarification of federal cannabis policy".
Trump's embrace of the bill is just another blow to his attorney general, who has been a longtime opponent of marijuana.
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President Trump said Friday that he's inclined to get behind a bipartian congressional bid to ease the US ban on marijuana, The Associated Press reported.
Bill C-45 now goes back to the House of Commons where Members of Parliament will decide on what to do with proposed amendments, it will then back to the Senate for a second vote, before it gets Royal Assent and becomes Canadian law.
Gardner's home state of Colorado was one of the first to legalize marijuana, in 2012.
The Trump administration has had a rocky relationship with state-legal marijuana.
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