Trump voices support for bipartisan pot legislation






Medical marijuana is pictured. | Getty

“But I probably will end up supporting that, yes,” the president says of legislation which seeks to bar the federal government from meddling in states’ efforts to self-regulate on pot. | Getty

President Donald Trump said Friday he “probably will end up supporting” bipartisan legislation to bar the federal government from interfering with marijuana legalization laws at the state level, putting him at odds with efforts by his own Justice Department to crack down on the substance nationwide.

The bill, unveiled by Sens. Cory Gardner of (R-Colo.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), lawmakers of two states that have voted to legalize certain types of pot use, would in effect give states the right to determine their own approach to regulating the drug.

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Pressed on whether he supports the measure while addressing reporters outside the White House on Friday, the president said he 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.”

The remarks stand in contrast to the actions of his 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.

Sessions, a long-time opponent of marijuana legalization efforts, rescinded an Obama-era policy in January that had effectively limited the prosecutions of businesses and individuals who sold pot in a legal manner under state law.

The Obama-era initiative had paved the way for more legislation expanding legal access and use of pot at the state level.

The legislation released by Gardner and Warren, 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.



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