Legalizing marijuana at the federal level is a real possibility, according to President Obama.
Based on some of the bipartisan agreements seen surrounding U.S. marijuana laws, should enough states decriminalize marijuana, doing so at the federal level would be the next step, Obama said in an interview with Vice Media co-founder Shane Smith.
“We may be able to make some progress on the decriminalization side,” Obama said in the interview, released Monday. “At a certain point, if enough states end up decriminalizing, then Congress may then reschedule marijuana.”
Currently, 23 states plus Washington, D.C., have legalized medical marijuana. Recreational marijuana is legal in Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, Washington State and D.C.
Sens. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Rand Paul — two Democrats and a Republican, respectively — introduced a bill last week that would decriminalize marijuana on a federal level. The bill would reclassify the drug from Schedule II to Schedule I, meaning the federal government would have to recognize its medicinal use as legal and not illegal.