Paul joins Democrats in bid to boost medical marijuana

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Democratic senators and a possible Republican presidential candidate are joining forces to push a bill to remove federal prohibitions on medical marijuana in 23 states where it’s already legal.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey say their unusual coalition is a sign of growing acceptance of medical marijuana.

The new bill aims to eliminate uncertainty surrounding marijuana use in states that allow it for medicinal purposes. The bill also would allow doctors at veterans’ hospitals to prescribe pot for medical purposes and allow banks to provide financial services to marijuana dispensaries.

The senators said they hope to bring the bill to a floor vote this year, but acknowledge it is likely to face strong opposition.

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