The top Senate Democrat says he now supports making pot effectively legal under federal law.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer says he'll introduce a bill taking marijuana off the federal list of controlled substances — in effect decriminalizing its use.
Instead, his bill would let states decide how to treat marijuana possession. Under the measure, the federal government would still enforce laws against moving pot into states where it's illegal and would still regulate advertising so it isn't aimed at children.
Eight states and the District of Columbia now allow recreational use of marijuana, and a majority allow its use for medical purposes.
The White House said last week that President Donald Trump backs legislation to protect the marijuana industry in states where it is legal.
Schumer made the announcement on April 20, the day on which marijuana is celebrated by many of enthusiasts across the country. In an interview with Vice previewing the announcement, he said it was right to do.
"If smoking marijuana doesn't hurt anybody else, why shouldn't we allow people to do it and not make it criminal?" Schumer said.