Joint action: Bipartisan medical marijuana bill heads to US Senate

Bipartisan medical marijuana bill heads to US Senate

Bipartisan medical marijuana bill heads to US Senate

Joint action: Bipartisan medical marijuana bill heads to US Senate.  Medical marijuana now has some powerful, bipartisan supporters in the US Senate. In what pot activists say is a historic first, three senators announced they will introduce a bill that would end the federal ban on medical marijuana.

Sens. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) will unveil their bill ‒ called the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act ‒ on Tuesday. If passed, the bill would “allow patients, doctors and businesses in states that have already passed medical marijuana laws to participate in those programs without fear of federal prosecution,” according to a joint statement.

So far, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana. Another dozen states have passed or are in the process of passing legislation regulating the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oils in those locations. However, if the federal government so chooses, they could prosecute the prescription pot users for violating national drug laws.

Several bills that would legalize medical marijuana on the federal level have already been introduced in the House of Representatives. Approximately two-thirds of Americans believe the federal government should not interfere with state laws on the subject, according to a poll published in December.

“The introduction of this legislation in the Senate demonstrates just how seriously this issue is being taken on Capitol Hill,” Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project said in a statement. “This is a significant step forward when it comes to reforming marijuana laws at the federal level.”

Advocates of using the plant for medicinal use cheered the senators’ move.

“Almost half the states have legalized marijuana for medical use; it’s long past time to end the federal ban,” Michael Collins, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), said in a statement. “This bipartisan legislation allows states to set their own medical marijuana policies and ends the criminalization of patients, their families, and the caregivers and dispensary owners and employees who provide them their medicine.”

Paul has previously railed against several fellow Republicans who have said they are against medical marijuana, specifically potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida.

Bush told the Boston Globe in January that he had drank alcohol and smoked pot in high school. However, he has consistently opposed efforts to legalize marijuana or even loosen its penalties, Politico reported. The former governor urged voters to oppose a Florida ballot initiative in November that would have approved medicinal use of the drug.
I think it’s hypocritical that someone who used marijuana as a kid and now has harsh laws over it,” Paul told Fox News on Sunday.

The Kentucky Republican also called Bush a hypocrite in the Hill newspaper over his stance earlier this year, after reading the Globe interview.

Gillibrand has been a staunch advocate of medical marijuana. In September, she joined fellow New York Senator and Democrat Charles Schumer to request that the Department of Justice (DOJ) issue a waiver to grant children in New York suffering from epilepsy and seizures access to the ‘Charlotte’s Web’ strain of medical marijuana before legalization was implemented in the state, according to a press release.

Booker and Paul worked together in June to author an amendment to a bill that would have broadly banned DOJ action against state medical marijuana laws. It mirrored a similar bill that was attached to a House spending bill that passed the lower chamber in May.

 

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U.S. Senators Introduce Historic Bill to Allow Full Legalization of Medical Marijuana

Full Legalization of Medical Marijuana

AmericanFlag-PotLeaf

Full Legalization of Medical Marijuana byThree U.S. senators unveiled a new bill today that would effectively end a federal ban on medical marijuana, according to multiple sources.

New Federal Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced

The proposed senate bill, which was introduced by Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), will allow legal medical marijuana patients “to continue participating in those programs without fear of federal prosecution,” according to a joint statement from the senators’ offices.

dan riffleWhile the bill’s future acceptance is uncertain, its creation could help Senator Rand Paul stand out from the crowd going into the upcoming 2016 presidential election. If the senate bill passes, it will act as a green light for many entrepreneurs and investors who have been waiting patiently for the federal government to take a stance on the issue.

“Several marijuana policy reform bills have been introduced in the House of Representatives. The introduction of this legislation in the Senate demonstrates just how seriously this issue is being taken on Capitol Hill,” stated Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project, which first informed reporters of the legislation.

Sen. Rand Paul Supports Medical Marijuana Legalization

Speaking out about the need to legalize marijuana is nothing new for Rand Paul, who has slowly become an outspoken advocate for the green movement in recent years.

Senator Rand Paul“Look, the last two presidents could conceivably have been put in jail for their drug use, and I really think, you know, look what would have happened, it would have ruined their lives. They got lucky, but a lot of poor kids, particularly in the inner city, don’t get lucky. They don’t have good attorneys, and they go to jail for these things and I think it’s a big mistake,” said Rand Paul.

Public opinion has shifted dramatically toward legal marijuana in recent years. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have already implemented laws that legalize and regulate marijuana for medicinal purposes. Additionally, a recent Pew poll found 63 percent of Republican Millennials favor marijuana legalization.

from the MJ Directory
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