Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation on Monday that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and eliminate legal hazards facing many cannabis-related businesses while regulating its use like alcohol.
Representative Nancy Mace of South Carolina, who is spear-heading the legislative effort, described the bill as a “compromise” with less onerous regulations than measures proposed earlier by other lawmakers including Democrats.
The legislation’s path in the Democratic-controlled House was uncertain. Mace, a first-term lawmaker, said the measure has five Republican co-sponsors.
Adult use of cannabis is legal in 18 U.S. states and allowed medically in 36 states. But it remains illegal under federal law, which has deterred banks and other investors from involvement with companies that sell marijuana or related products.