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Ohio congressman wants to legalize marijuana across U.S.

Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan believes marijuana should be legal across all 50 states, calling the current prohibition against the drug “nonsensical.”

Ryan, D-Niles, said “no person should be sentenced to a lifetime of hardship because of a marijuana arrest.”

“It is morally wrong, economically nonsensical, and an unnecessary strain on our already strained law enforcement officials,” the Democrat said in a statement on Facebook. “Even more unjust is that the burden of these low-level drug charges fall on minority communities, hindering their God-given right to thrive and build a brighter future for themselves and their families.”

Ryan represents the Youngstown area in Congress.

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (Washington Bureau)

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Ryan said he is introducing legislation to legalize the drug. According to an opinion piece Ryan wrote for CNN, his Marijuana Justice Act would remove marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I drug, or one with no accepted medical use.

RELATED: US Senator introduces bill to legalize marijuana on the federal level

Ryan has served in Congress since 2003, when he replaced his former boss, the bombastic and legally troubled Rep. Jim Traficant, D-Youngstown.

Ryan challenged Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as the Democratic House leader in 2016. His name has also been tossed around as a potential candidate for president in 2020.

Congress included a provision in its new budget bill that says the Department of Justice can't spend money on medical marijuana prosecutions.

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