Bernie Sanders Introduces Bill Ending The Federal Ban On Marijuana

By:  Mollie Reilly

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has introduced a bill that would end federal prohibition of marijuana, marking the latest move the senator has made toward ending the war on drugs.

The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, introduced Wednesday, is modeled after a bill first proposed by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) in 2013, which was reintroduced this year as the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. The Senate bill would remove marijuana from the Drug Enforcement Administration's list of the "most dangerous" drugs and strike marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, allowing states to decide whether they want to legalize pot for recreational or medical use without federal intervention. 

“Just as alcohol prohibition failed in the 1920s, it’s clear marijuana prohibition is failing today,” Polis said in a statement. “For decades, the federal ban on marijuana has wasted tax dollars, impeded our criminal justice system, lined the pockets of drug cartels, and trampled on states’ ability to set their own public health laws. ... Today’s introduction of the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act in the Senate is a huge step forward in the movement to enact the commonsense drug laws needed to grow our economy and restore fairness to our justice system."

The bill comes a week after Sanders first proposed reclassifying marijuana as a less-dangerous substance, arguing that doing so is an essential component of reforming America's criminal justice system. 

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