Ilhan Omar Says Marijuana Must Be Legalized Nationwide To Fight Economic Inequality

She stated the federal government should strive for consistency with states

Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar called on the federal government to take the lead in legalizing marijuana nationwide, warning that legal differences between states was exacerbating economic inequality.

The progressive Minnesota representative told BET that the federal government — which has long considered marijuana a medically unnecessary, illegal drug on par with heroin and cocaine — should strive to ensure consistency between states on the issue, according to the Star Tribune.

Omar said lawmakers in Washington should “not allow for the states to pick and choose” whether to legalize the substance. Eleven U.S. states—Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington—have thus far legalized marijuana for recreational use, as well as Washington, D.C. About half of the states have allowed for the medicinal use of cannabis.

Liberalization of recreational marijuana policy has rapidly spread since Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize and regulate the drug. Dozens more have legalized medicinal marijuana to some extent, though the specifics differ from state to state.

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