LOS ANGELES (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday that he was inclined to support a bipartisan effort in Congress to ease the U.S. ban on marijuana, a proposal that would dramatically reshape the nation’s legal landscape for pot users and businesses.
The federal ban that puts marijuana on the same level as LSD and heroin has created a conflict with about 30 states that have legalized pot in some form, creating a two-tiered enforcement system at the state and federal levels.
The legislation would ensure states have the right to determine the best approach to marijuana within their borders, but some U.S. restrictions would remain, including sales of non-medical pot to people under 21.
The proposal introduced Thursday has support from members of Congress from both parties, including Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado.
“I support Senator Gardner. I know exactly what he’s doing,” Trump told reporters in Washington, when asked about the legislation. “We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”
The president’s remarks place him in conflict with his own Justice Department and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who staunchly opposes marijuana. He lifted an Obama administration policy and freed federal prosecutors to more aggressively pursue cases in states that have legalized marijuana.