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New bill would ease state-federal pot conflict

SEATTLE (AP) — A bill introduced in Congress would fix the conflict between the federal government's marijuana prohibition and state laws that allow medical or recreational use.

California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher says his bill has three Republican and three Democratic sponsors.

It would assure that state laws on pot are respected by the feds by amending the Controlled Substances Act to make clear that individuals and businesses that comply with state marijuana laws are immune from federal prosecution. That would include marijuana dispensaries.

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws. And Washington and Colorado last fall became the first to pass laws legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana. The U.S. Justice Department has not said how it intends to respond to those state laws.

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