The new bill follows an agreement Gardner reached with President Donald Trump in April, in which the Colorado senator dropped his hold on Justice Department nominees being confirmed in exchange for the president's assurance that the DOJ would not target Colorado's marijuana industry. "This legislation is the first bicameral, bipartisan bill ever introduced at the federal level". "I will again sponsor a tax and regulate legalization model in the next session".
The bill now goes back to the House of Commons.
New Hampshire has a commission charged with studying marijuana legalization, regulation, and taxation.
Currently, 46 states and additional territories have laws permitting medical and/or recreational marijuana. In Massachusetts, retail pot shops are scheduled to open July 1.
The law would help cannabis companies that now function as all-cash businesses and struggle to work with banks due to federal laws.
Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has always been an impassioned opponent of marijuana, and in January the Justice Department rescinded Obama administration guidance that instructed federal law enforcement not to waste resources targeting marijuana operations in states where they are legal.
"We're looking at it", Trump said. However, with Republicans in control of Congress and Trump in the White House, legislation that leaves marijuana legalization up to the states has the best chance of gaining traction - and furthering the divide between the president and his attorney general. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Reps.
Could legal marijuana solve America's opioid crisis? "But I probably will end up supporting that". He backed down after he said Trump had agreed not to intervene in states that had legalized the drug, and said privately that he would support Garnder's legislation. Legal recreational marijuana has been approved in nine states and Washington, D.C., which continues to ban sales, unlike the state programs. This would protect both businesses and individual users, as long as they follow state rules around marijuana use and distribution. "This bipartisan proposal clears the way for states to develop their own marijuana policies without fear of federal intervention", she said in a statement. He welcomed the president's "continued interest in an approach that respects the will of the voters in each state".