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Bipartisan Lawmakers Back Trying to End Federal Ban of Marijuana

A small, bipartisan group of lawmakers is renewing a push at the federal level to legalize marijuana, calling it a criminal justice issue.

The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, sponsored by Rep. Thomas Garrett (R-Va.), would lift the nation’s pot restrictions and allow states to decide how to regulate medical and recreational marijuana.

Currently, states like Colorado that legalize marijuana do so in violation of federal law. This has created a confusing patchwork of pot laws around the country.

The bill, which has 11 co-sponsors, was introduced in February, and has gathered little momentum on Capitol Hill. Garrett hopes to build consensus despite indications that President Trump’s administration is moving toward stronger enforcement of federal marijuana laws.

Garrett believes there are “redeeming medical uses for cannabis,” but he didn’t always feel that way.

“The first time I heard the term ‘medicinal marijuana’ 25 or 30 years ago, I probably chuckled,” he told reporters Wednesday. [Read more at The Hill]

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