Sanders Introduces Bill to Lift Federal Prohibition of Marijuana

Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a bill Wednesday that would lift the federal ban on marijuana, and leave it to the states to decide whether recreational marijuana should be legalized.

The Independent Vermont senator’s bill comes on the heels of Tuesday’s election, during which Ohio voters chose to reject a ballot initiative to legalize recreational and medical marijuana. That initiative would have allowed the Buckeye State to join four other states that have legalized recreational pot: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

The bill would also let those in the marijuana business access banks, which would solve a problem for pot entrepreneurs in states where the drug is legal. Because possession and use of marijuana is still forbidden under federal law, many banks have balked at the idea of handling the accounts of these businesses.

Sanders is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, and has taken a different approach to marijuana than his opponent, front-runner Hillary Clinton.