In an effort to allow states to legalize marijuana without the risk of federal prosecution, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are spearheading the way to end the federal ban, and President Trump approves.
The president indicated that he was in favor of the bill that aims to give individual states the right to legalize or prohibit the use of marijuana.
Before boarding a helicopter on Friday for the G-7 Summit in Canada, President Trump said his support for the bill was likely.
“I support Sen. Gardner,” Trump said when asked about the bill. “I know exactly what he’s doing. We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”
In addition to giving states the right to choose whether or not to legalize pot, the proposed bill will remove the threat of federal prosecution, making it possible for marijuana businesses to acquire funding.
“If you are in the marijuana business … you can’t get a bank loan or set up a bank account because of concern over the conflict between state and federal law,” Gardner stated at a news conference on Thursday. “We need to fix this. It is time we take this industry out of the shadows, bring these dollars out of the shadows.”
Currently, 20 states allow marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes. Another nine, as well as Washington, D.C., have allowed the use of pot for recreational use.
“The federal government is closing its eyes and plugging its ears while 46 states have acted,” Gardner said in a statement. “The bipartisan, commonsense bill ensures the federal government will respect the will of the voters — whether that is legalization or prohibition — and not interfere in any states’ legal marijuana industry.”
Congressional leaders are still hesitant to alter the federal law that bans the use of the drug, even though several states allow the use of marijuana.
During a press conference with Gardner, Warren states, “This is not a bill that forces legalization on any state that doesn’t want it.”
Instead, the bill allows states to determine whether legalization within its borders is the best approach.