Portland mayor joins leaders of 5 other US cities where marijuana is legal to form group

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler - KATU photo

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Mayors from six U.S. cities with legal marijuana have formed a coalition with the aim of preparing other states and the federal government for legalization.

Mayors from Denver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and West Sacramento announced Monday on Twitter that they sponsored a resolution at the Conference of Mayors in Boston asking the U.S. government to remove cannabis from a list of illegal drugs, among other things.

The mayor's office in Portland provided this statement from Mayor Wheeler about the group:

“I am excited to be a part of this important coalition, alongside Mayors of cities who have proven that legalization works. Cannabis prohibition has failed. It has failed to keep our children safe; it has failed law enforcement, and it has especially failed communities of color disproportionately targeted and prosecuted for low-level drug offenses. Here in Portland, there are hundreds of cannabis retailers, producers, processors, and wholesalers who are woven into the fabric of our business community, contributing thousands of well-paying jobs and millions of dollars of economic activity. Eventually, legalization will come to every state—and we want to make sure it’s done so safely and effectively.”

Mayors from Oakland, California and Thornton, Colorado also pledged to actively advocate for federal reform of marijuana policy.

President Donald Trump said last week he would "probably" back a bipartisan congressional effort to ease a U.S. ban on the drug that about 30 states have legalized in some form. The bill supported by both parties was introduced June 7.

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