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Klobuchar backs legalizing marijuana

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a 2020 presidential candidate, said Friday that she supports legalizing marijuana.

"I support the legalization of marijuana and believe that states should have the right to determine the best approach to marijuana within their borders," Klobuchar said in a statement released by her presidential campaign.

Klobuchar had been mum about her stance on the issue before she released a statement to The Washington Post as part of a round-up of presidential candidates' views on the matter.

Minnesota, Klobuchar's home state, will vote on a recreational marijuana bill later this year.

Pot legalization has seen growing support among Democrats ahead of the 2020 election, with several other White House contenders also backing the proposal.

Sens. Kamala Harris (Calif.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have all come out in support of full legalization.

Sanders was the first major party candidate to call for federal legalization of pot during his failed White House bid in 2016, the Post noted. 

In 2017, Booker introduced the Marijuana Justice Act, which would eliminate marijuana's status as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Harris, Gillibrand and Warren co-sponsored the legislation.

The move would require federal courts to expunge the records of Americans who have prior marijuana convictions related to use or possession.

Warren last year introduced a bipartisan bill hat would allow states to regulate marijuana without federal interference. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is almost certain to enter the 2020 presidential race, will likely face issues with the pro-cannabis electorate given his past record.

The Post noted that Biden, the former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, helped pass the 1994 crime bill and did not support the legalization of marijuana during his tenure as vice president.

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