President Donald Trump just surprised everyone by indicating that he supports a bill that would end the ban on marijuana in this country.
Politico reported that on Friday, Trump said that he would “probably will end up supporting” bipartisan legislation to bar the federal government from interfering with marijuana legalization laws at the state level. Unveiled by Sens. Cory Gardner of (R-Colo.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), this bill in effect give states the right to determine their own approach to regulating the drug.
When asked about the bill, Trump said supports it now and will “probably” support it going forward.
“I really do. I support Senator Gardner,” Trump said of the lawmaker’s bill. “I know exactly what he’s doing, we’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”
This surprised everyone since it contradicts Trump’s own Justice Department, which under the direction of Attorney General Jeff Sessions has moved aggressively to crack down on the proliferation of laws to decriminalize and legalize cannabis. Back in January, Sessions rescinded an Obama-era policy that had effectively limited the prosecutions of businesses and individuals who sold pot in a legal manner under state law.
This initiative of Barack Obama’s had paved the way for more legislation expanding legal access and use of pot at the state level. Gardner and Warren’s measure, which seeks to bar the federal government from meddling in states’ efforts to self-regulate on pot, would likely challenge the DOJ action on federal pot prosecutions.
Gardner said that trying to roll back pot laws would be like “putting ketchup back in the bottle” and also noted that current finance laws have made it difficult for legal marijuana businesses to operate.
“This city of Denver, the state of Colorado, can collect taxes … they can take it to the bank,” Gardner said. “But if you’re in the business, if you work for the business, you can’t get a bank loan or set up a bank account because of the concern over the conflict between the state and federal law. We need to fix this public hypocrisy.”
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