Legal Marijuana is 1-Step Closer in the US
- On the legislation: “We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, Yes.”
Friday, US President Donald Trump said that he is inclined to support a bi-partisan effort in Congress to ease the US ban on marijuana, a proposal that would dramatically reshape the nation’s legal landscape for marijuana users and businesses.
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 marijuana in some form, creating a 2-Tiered enforcement system at the state and federal levels.
The legislation would ensure states have the right to determine the best approach to marijuana within their borders, however some US restrictions will likely remain, including sales of non-medical marijuana to people under 21 anni.
The proposal introduced Thursday has support from members of Congress from both parties.
“I support Senator Gardner. I know exactly what he’s doing,” President Trump told reporters in Washington when asked about the legislation. “We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, Yes.”
Asked about the measure in an interview with Colorado Public Radio, US AG Sessions said, “We’ll see how far it goes and how much support there is. … My view is clear: The federal law remains in effect nationwide, just as it does for heroin and cocaine.”
Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), who heads the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, is close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has consistently opposed legalizing marijuana but has called hemp and marijuana “2 separate plants.”
The bill in Congress 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 does not contain the THC that gives users the high.
Hemp produces the non-intoxicating cannabinoids, or CBDs, that have become a health rage and a cash crop in Kentucky and other states.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a co-sponsor, said momentum was building in the House but “we just need Republican leadership in Congress to get on board or get out of our way, and for President Trump to keep his word.”
President Trump’s remarks Friday echo a promise that Senator Gardner said he received privately from the President in April to support legislation protecting the marijuana industry in states that have legalized the drug.
“My legislation is in line with what President Trump said on the campaign and what he and I have discussed several times since he was elected,” Gardner said in a statement Friday. He welcomed the president’s “continued interest in an approach that respects the will of the voters in each state.”
The Key problem stemming from the federal ban.
Major banks are very reluctant to do business with marijuana companies, fearing it could lead to prosecution.
The bill includes language intended to address financial issues caused by the federal ban.
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