WASHINGTON - Rep. Tulsi Gabbard denounced the decision of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to rescind the Obama-era, non-interference policy and target states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana use.

Gabbard is now calling on Congress to pass H.R. 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which removes marijuana from the federal controlled substances list.

"Attorney General Sessions' reversal of the current non-interference policy that essentially allowed states to implement their own marijuana laws without federal interference, tramples on states' rights and is a dangerous escalation of the failed so-called War on Drugs. This overreach by the federal government undermines state governments like Hawaii's that have legalized medical marijuana and threatens the livelihoods and rights of the people of Hawai'i and those of the 29 states and Washington DC who have legalized some form of marijuana," said Gabbard.  "This decision reinforces our outdated and destructive policies on marijuana that turn everyday Americans into criminals, tear families apart, and waste billions of taxpayer dollars to arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate people for nonviolent marijuana charges. Taxpayer dollars would be better spent tackling the many problems that plague the American people including combating the opioid epidemic, ensuring affordable housing, repairing aging infrastructure, and investing in education, healthcare, veterans’ care, and more."

Rep. Gabbard says our laws should accurately reflect scientific consensus, not misplaced stigma and outdated myths about marijuana.

"I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which would decriminalize marijuana by removing it from the federal controlled substances list, treating it the same as alcohol and tobacco. Our bipartisan legislation will end this unnecessary and costly debate once and for all by federally decriminalizing marijuana and kick-starting long overdue, common sense criminal justice reform," said Gabbard.

Gabbard is the lead Democratic co-sponsor of H.R. 1227.