Trump ‘probably’ would support move to end federal ban on marijuana in bill pushed by Gardner

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump said Friday he "probably will end up supporting” legislation to end the federal government from interfering with marijuana legalization laws at the state level.

The bill was unveiled Thursday by Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner and Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warner.

Colorado voters in 2012 passed Amendment 64 that allows for recreational marijuana use. Recreational pot sales started on Jan. 1, 2014 and has become a billion-dollar industry in the state.

The bill by Gardner and Warren would give states the right to determine their own approach to regulating marijuana.

Before leaving for the G7 Summit in Canada, Trump was asked if she supports the measure.

He said he supports it now and will "probably" support it going forward.

“I really do. I support Sen. Gardner,” Trump said. “I know exactly what he’s doing. We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”

There are 46 states and several territories that have legalized marijuana in some fashion, but it remains illegal under federal law.

Because of that, marijuana companies have several financial obstacles, including the inability to use banks. The proposed bill would lift that restriction.

“It is a positive sign," said Gardner, who is attending the Western Conservative Summit in Denver.

The Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions does not support the legalization.

The department has moved to crack down on the laws to decriminalize and legalize marijuana.

In January, Sessions rescinded an Obama-era policy that had limited the prosecutions of businesses and individuals who sold marijuana legally under state law.

The legislation by Gardner and Warren would bar the federal government for intruding in states' efforts to self-regular marijuana.

The move by Sessions moved Gardner to block Justice Department nominees on the floor of the Senate.

In April, he stopped the block after Trump told Gardner the federal government would not intervene in Colorado's marijuana industry.

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