U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard took to the House floor Tuesday to call for a major change in controlled substances.

She urged Congress to pass legislation to federally decriminalize marijuana.

If passed, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act (H.R. 1227) “would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list — joining other industries such as alcohol and tobacco,” according to Gabbard’s office.

Gabbard introduced the legislation with Rep. Tom Garrett (VA-05), an Army veteran and former prosecutor.  

Here’s what she had to say in a press release about the bill:

Our outdated policies on marijuana are having devastating ripple effects on individuals and communities across the country. They have turned everyday Americans into criminals, torn apart families, and wasted huge amounts of taxpayer dollars to arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate people for nonviolent marijuana charges.

“Differences in state and federal law have also created confusion and uncertainty for our local businesses, who face contradictory regulations that affect their bottom line and ability to operate. I urge our colleagues to support our bipartisan legislation which would decriminalize marijuana, bringing about long overdue and common sense reform.” 

Gabbard’s office said she “supports the full legalization of marijuana on the federal level as part of her overall effort toward criminal justice reform.”

The press release included praise for Gabbard’s bill from several Hawaii folks.

As long as marijuana is federally illegal, FDIC regulations make it impossible for banks to provide any services to the eight Hawaii Medical Marijuana Dispensary licensees,” said Richard Ha, CEO of Lau Ola, a medical marijuana dispensary on the Big Island. “Federal decriminalization will enable professional dispensaries to provide much needed patient access and cost savings.”

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