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I am trying to translate the sentence

Da die USA ihre Gesetze bezüglich Marihuana entschärft haben, wurde auch in Deutschland eine Debatte angestoßen.

and arrived at:

Since the USA [verb]ed their legislation regarding marijuana, a debate in Germany was initiated.

Entschärfen in this context means to change the laws such that they are less strict and prohibit less.

Translating entschärfen directy gives me to defuse, but that doesn’t sound right in this context. Linguee offers me no translation for the phrase Gesetz entschärfen.

What would be the correct translation of this phrase?

2 Answers 2

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The US softened the legislation...

Example 1:

New Orleans softens marijuana possession laws starting this week

Example 2:

This Southern State May Soften Its Marijuana Laws

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Relaxed is my go-to here. And then the opposite is to tighten a rule or regulation.

(intransitive, of codes and regulations) To become more lenient.

Wiktionary

to make a rule or control less severe:

Two weeks after the police relaxed security at the airports, there was a bomb attack.

Cambridge

Usage example (UK Government source):

Starting in May 2020, the laws were slowly relaxed.

Coronavirus: A history of English lockdown laws

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