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McConnell: I won't support legalizing marijuana

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFormer OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden Lawmakers reach agreement on bipartisan Jan. 6 commission The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Masks off: CDC greenlights return to normal for vaccinated Americans MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday told reporters he has no plan to support the legalization of marijuana as he pushes an effort to legalize hemp.

“I do not have any plans to endorse the legalization of marijuana,” he said, adding that marijuana and hemp are “two entirely separate plants.”

The top Republican introduced a measure in March to legalize hemp, taking it off the federal list of controlled substances and allowing it to be sold as an agricultural product.

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Hemp has small amounts of THC, the main psychoactive component of marijuana.

“It is a different plant. It has an illicit cousin which I choose not to embrace,” McConnell said of hemp on Tuesday.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden 'encouraged' by meeting with congressional leaders on infrastructure Republicans welcome the chance to work with Democrats on a bipartisan infrastructure bill Cheney sideshow distracts from important battle over Democrats' partisan voting bill MORE (D-N.Y.) announced last month a plan to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, removing it from the list of federally controlled substances and instead allowing states to regulate the drug.

Marijuana has been legalized in some form in 30 states and Washington, D.C. Recreational use of the drug is permitted in nine states and D.C.