June 8 (UPI) — President Donald Trump endorsed a congressional effort on Friday to legalize marijuana on the federal level.
His comment to reporters before boarding a helicopter at the White House on his way to the G7 summit in Canada, opposes the position of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
A bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., which has the support of about a quarter of the Senate, is part of the 2018 Farm Bill under consideration by Congress and would legalize hemp, a plant whose variety of industrial and commercial uses includes marijuana.
“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.”
Gardner’s bill would also remove hemp from the federal list of controlled substances and would allow its sale as an agricultural commodity. The hemp legislation, which has support fro Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was included Friday in the massive farm bill, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced.
Under the proposed bill, hemp would be state-regulated, and farmers could apply to the Agriculture Department for grants and other aid. It could reshape the political landscape for marijuana sale and use and end the Justice Department’s threats of a crackdown on marijuana.
The Senate’s farm bill still requires the approval of the Senate Agriculture Committee and the full chamber. A separate farm bill in the House faced a major setback last month when conservative legislators suspended its consideration during a fight over immigration.