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Rep. Ilhan Omar calls for marijuana legalization at the federal level

The congresswoman says states shouldn't get to "pick and choose" on the issue.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, who represents Minnesota's 5th Congressional District, is throwing her support behind a movement to legalize marijuana nationwide.

In an interview with Black Entertainment Television (BET) on Wednesday, the Democratic congresswoman said "it’s important for us to (legalize) it federally and not allow for the states to pick and choose.”

So far, 11 U.S. states have made recreational marijuana legal; earlier this year, a bill that would have made Minnesota number 12 failed to go anywhere in the state legislature. 

In the BET interview, Omar suggests it's inherently unfair when weed policy differs from state to state:

“Because what happens is you will have a state where someone is publicly and professionally allowed to profit and the next state someone could be sentenced to life for it, so we want to make sure there is equality in our laws.”

As the Star Tribune points out, Omar is a co-sponsor of the Marijuana Justice Act of 2019, which would amend federal law to remove pot from the list of "Schedule 1" controlled substances

The bill and its Senate companion are still in the "committee" stage of legislation, which means they haven't gone up for a full vote yet. 

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