Could this mark the beginning of the end of marijuana prohibition? Three U.S. senators unveiled a historic new bill this morning that would effectively end the federal ban on medical marijuana.
The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) act, introduced by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky—a possible Republican presidential candidate, Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) would prevent the federal government from prosecuting medical marijuana users in the 23 states plus the District of Columbia, where medical weed is legal—allowing legal medical marijuana patients “to continue participating in those programs without fear of federal prosecution,” reads a joint statement from the senators’ offices.
“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,” Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project, reports.
Rand Paul Supports Legalizing Medical Marijuana
Rand Paul, known as outspoken advocate for marijuana said, “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.”
The bill will still need to be approved by the senate to move forward. According to Reuters polling 46 percent of Americans support full legalization of marijuana, 58 percent of Democrats are all for it and Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Governor Rick Perry have said that states should have the right to determine their own marijuana laws. However 58 percent of Republicans oppose it. But things are looking up however as the “Old Boys Club” ages and retires—a recent Pew poll found that 63 percent of Republican Millennials are all for the legalization of marijuana.
The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act will:
- Allow state medical cannabis programs to continue without federal interference;
- Move cannabis off of Schedule I, the federal list of dangerous drugs with no medical use;
- Remove Cannabidiol (CBD), an important medicinal component of cannabis, from the federal schedules altogether;
- Create access to banking services for legal cannabis businesses;
- End the Public Health Service review process and NIDA monopoly that blocks research; and
- Allow Veterans Administration (VA) doctors to write recommendations in states that have a medical cannabis program.
Do you think this means that federal marijuana prohibition might soon come to an end? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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