Marijuana has been in the decriminalization process since 1973 with many states over the years passing laws to either authorize the use of marijuana or prohibit it. It is time to stop treating marijuana like a deadly drug, when science and public opinion agree that it is relatively safe for adult recreational and medical use. With recreational and medical marijuana on the verge of nationwide legalization, marijuana growers and dispensaries are popping up everywhere.
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President Trump is signaling he’s willing to support a move toward the legalization of marijuana, which would be a departure from the position of his attorney general, Jeff Sessions.
Sessions has been known for his vocal opposition to marijuana legalization, calling it a “very real danger” during his Senate confirmation hearing, and saying, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
Speaking to reporters as he left the White House Friday morning for the G-7 summit in Canada, Trump said, “I probably will end up supporting” bipartisan legislation that would give states wide latitude over marijuana regulation.
Asked about the proposal by Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, Trump said, “I support Sen. Gardner. I know exactly what he’s doing; we’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”
Gardner is co-sponsoring the legislation with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat.
The bill would amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to allow states and tribes to write their own laws regarding the production, distribution, and possession of marijuana.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has criticized Gardner, whose state was the first to legalize marijuana, for his support for permissive marijuana laws.
In April, Gardner said President Trump had promised to support such a proposal, in an apparent break with Sessions.
Speaking to Colorado Public Radio on Friday, Sessions said so far Trump has not told him to back off of enforcing marijuana laws.
“We were not ordered to do anything other than the policies that we intend to carry out nationally,” Sessions said.
Sessions said he will monitor the situation in Congress while continuing to enforce current federal law.
In January, Sessions reversed an Obama-era policy that had eased up on federal marijuana enforcement in states like Colorado with permissive laws.
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