Trump Likely to Support End to Federal Ban on Marijuana

Erika Holt
June 11, 2018

Cory Gardner, a Republican, on Thursday teamed with Massachusetts Sen.

The legislative act would allow individual states to create their own laws related to the cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution of marijuana as long as the states agree to comply with new federally mandated protections to be put in place.

President Donald Trump said on June 9 that he's inclined to support a bipartisan effort in Congress to ease the United States ban on marijuana, a proposal that would dramatically reshape the nation's legal landscape for pot users and businesses.

Sens. Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican, and Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, introduced a bill Thursday meant to protect the laws of states that have legalized some form of marijuana from federal intervention.

Another bill expands the state's medical marijuana program and allows any health-care practitioner permitted to prescribe controlled substances to write prescriptions.

Their states have legalized marijuana, but it's still illegal according to federal law, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he's going to enforce that law.

Trump's remarks on Friday echo a promise that Gardner said he received privately from the president in April to support legislation protecting the marijuana industry in states that have legalised the drug. Last year, Trump's then Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced that the feds might crack down on recreational marijuana use but not on medical use.

"Clarity's important. Important for the businesses and important for the people who use marijuana", Warren said.

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"The decisions and the ways we have chosen to move forward on this issue are based on months if not years of consultations with experts ... looking at the best way to ensure that we are eliminating the criminal elements from the sale of marijuana", he added.

Uruguay approved the recreational usage of marijuana five years ago and nine USA states have too but Canada will be the first G-7 country to do so. Twenty other states permit medical marijuana use. Lawmakers are working on a bill that would create a state charter bank for the industry.

"There are huge public safety implications to an all-cash industry", Allen said.

"The fact that Canada is beating the the punch on legalization is another demonstration that federal prohibition of marijuana is an untenable position and Congress will have to act soon", said Michael Collins, a spokesman for the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance.

Trump had indicated on the 2016 campaign trail that he'd support states' laws on cannabis.

And a broader fear - that the feds could simply shut everything down someday - would potentially be abated, at least for the businesses that are licensed and in compliance with state regulations. Liszewski, though, said it might leave room for that possibility, if the states sending and receiving the product both authorized those operations.

"In many countries, especially in Canada, it is easier (as a minor) to buy a joint than buy a beer", Trudeau said. "That would be a disaster".

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