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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

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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