Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., introduced a bill on Friday to decriminalize marijuana and allow for it to be taxed and regulated. The bill is titled S. 420, in a reference to marijuana culture.
The proposal, identical to a bill in the House, aims to ease the longstanding conflict between states where cannabis is legal in some form and the U.S. government, which categorizes marijuana as a dangerous illegal drug, similar to LSD or heroin. The American Civil Liberties Union estimates that around half of all drug arrests are for marijuana possession.
"The federal prohibition of marijuana is wrong, plain and simple," Wyden, a Democrat, said in a statement. "Too many lives have been wasted, and too many economic opportunities have been missed."