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AG Barr: Would Prefer a New Federal Marijuana Law to the Current Situation

At a Senate Appropriations hearing Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr said he would prefer a proposed federal marijuana policy reform bill over the current system of conflicting state and federal laws.

The comments came after Barr was asked about the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, which was introduced in the House and Senate last week by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, MPP reported. It would amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to exempt marijuana-related activities conducted in compliance with state, territory, or tribal laws.

Barr said he “would much rather that approach—the approach taken by the STATES Act—than where we currently are.” He said he has not reviewed the bill and that it is currently being circulated internally in the Justice Department.

“The situation that I think is intolerable and which I’m opposed to is the current situation we’re in, and I would prefer one of two approaches rather than where we are,” Barr said. “Personally, I would still favor one uniform federal rule against marijuana, but if there is not sufficient consensus to obtain that, then I think the way to go is to permit a more federal approach so states can make their own decisions within the framework of the federal law and so we’re not just ignoring the enforcement of federal law.”

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