Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, and likely 2016 presidential candidate, joined Democratic Sens. Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand to end the federal ban on medical marijuana, now legalized in 23 states.
The three senators issued a statement saying the bill would “allow patients, doctors and businesses in states that have already passed medical-marijuana laws to participate in those programs without fear of federal prosecution,” Time reported.
Mr. Paul has spoken out about marijuana users in the past saying they should not be placed in jail, Reuters said.
He also said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and a likely opponent for the 2016 Republican nomination, showed hypocrisy for his opposition to medical marijuana in Florida, yet admitted to using pot in college.
Mr. Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz, all mentioned as possible 2016 presidential hopefuls, have said they believe states have the right to make their own marijuana laws.
Roughly 46 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana, although most Republicans oppose legalization, a Reuters/Ipsos poll said.