Bernie Sanders Introduces Senate Bill to Legalize Pot

It's the first such bill ever introduced in the senate
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2015 6:02 PM CST
Bernie Sanders introduced the first Senate bill to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

(Newser) – The first Senate bill to legalize recreational marijuana across the US was introduced Wednesday, courtesy of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the Hill reports. The senator's Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act would let states legalize recreational pot without government interference while still allowing individual states to ban it. According to the Huffington Post, a Gallup poll last month showed 58% of Americans supported legalizing marijuana. But Sanders' bill is unlikely to get serious consideration as long as Republicans continue to control the Senate, the Wall Street Journal reports. Regardless the move is only going to help Sanders with young voters, among whom he's already popular, according to the Hill.

The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act would remove pot from the Controlled Substances Act and the DEA's list of "most dangerous" drugs, the Huffington Post reports. According to the Journal, federal laws place marijuana in the same category as heroin or LSD: likely to be abused and having no medical use. Sanders endorsed legalization last week during a campaign stop at George Mason University. "Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use," the Hill quotes him. "That’s wrong. That has got to change.” Sanders' bill is similar to a bill introduced in the House of Representatives two years ago and reintroduced this year, the Huffington Post reports.

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