Today, I participated in a press conference with Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) as they announced the introduction of the most comprehensive piece of marijuana legislation ever put before Congress.
For the first time ever, the U.S. senate will consider a bill to legalize marijuana for medical use. The bill, titled the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act, is a monumental first and an excellent opportunity to end the federal war on medical marijuana patients.
The CARERS Act would:
- Allow states to legalize marijuana for medical use without federal interference;
- Permit interstate commerce in cannabidiol (CBD) oils;
- Reschedule marijuana to schedule II;
- Allow banks to provide checking accounts and other financial services to marijuana dispensaries;
- Allow Veterans Administration physicians to recommend medical marijuana to veterans; and
- Eliminate barriers to medical marijuana research.
We worked with senators on this bill. And we are ready to roll up our sleeves and help them pass this one.
Currently, 23 states and the District of Columbia have laws that legalize and regulate marijuana for medicinal purposes. Twelve states have laws on the books or are about to be signed into law by their governors regulating cannabidiol (CBD) oils, a non-psychotropic component of medical marijuana which some parents are utilizing to treat their children’s seizures.
Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for non-medical use.
Polls show roughly three-quarters of Americans support legalizing marijuana for medical use. A little more than half of voters support legalizing marijuana for non-medical use, in the same way alcohol is legal, taxed, and regulated.
Last year, we passed a groundbreaking amendment in the U.S. House banning the Justice Department from interfering with state medical marijuana laws. But the amendment expires soon, making the CARERS Act our best chance ever to end the federal war on medical marijuana.
It’s only a question of when, not if, federal marijuana prohibition will be repealed.
Michael Collins is policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs.
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Author: Michael Collins
Date Published: March 10, 2015
Published by Drug Policy Alliance
Via:: Ddrug Policy Alliance