united states senate

U.S.: Senators Introduce Sweeping Bipartisan Medical Marijuana Bill To Protect Patients

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Hundreds of patient advocates will gather in Washington, DC on March 31 to lobby for passage of Senate bill

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Comprehensive medical marijuana legislation was introduced Tuesday in the U.S. Senate for the first time in the nation's history.

Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act to end the federal prohibition on medical marijuana and allow states to set their own policies. The CARERS Act is endorsed by several advocacy groups including Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which helped Senate authors develop the legislation.

The CARERS Act will reclassify marijuana for medical use, overhaul the banking laws so as not to punish licensed businesses, allow veterans to have access to medical marijuana, and eliminate current barriers to research.

Currently, 23 states and the District of Columbia have adopted medical marijuana laws, and another twelve states have adopted laws allowing for the consumption of a specific form of cannabis known as cannabidiol or CBD commonly used to treat seizure disorders.

U.S.: Rep. Blumenauer Applauds Historic Senate Medical Marijuana Bill

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Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, one of the staunchest supporters of cannabis law reform in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday praised the historic medical marijuana bill introduced in the Senate.

“Senators Paul, Booker, and Gillibrand took an historic step today by introducing a medical marijuana bill in the United States Senate – the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act," Rep. Blumenauer said. "This bill would bring much needed relief to the patients, businesses, and physicians who participate in legal state medical marijuana systems that exist in a confusing patchwork of state and federal laws.

"Last Congress, the House voted six times in favor of reforming our outdated marijuana and hemp laws," Rep. Blumenauer said. "Over a dozen bills have been introduced, many with bipartisan support. The Senate bill builds on this momentum and incorporates many of the provisions that gained significant traction in the House.

"I am happy to see the inclusion of language similar to our bill, HR 667: The Veterans Equal Access Act, which will ensure that our veterans can access medical marijuana in states where it is legal," Rep. Blumenauer said. " I am also excited to see language to reduce barriers to medical marijuana research, which is an issue I will continue to champion. The bill will also offer much needed certainty for banks that provide financial services to marijuana businesses, which often must operate as unsafe cash only enterprises.

U.S.: Here's What's In The Historic Federal Medical Marijuana Bill Being Introduced Tuesday

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The historic medical marijuana bill being introduced in the United States Senate on Tuesday -- the first ever such bill ever introduced in the Senate -- would end the federal prohibition on medical marijuana. Beyond that, however, it would also implement a number of critical reforms that advocates have been seeking for years, according to those familiar with the legislation.

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) act grew from an amendment proposed last year by Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and is now being introduced by those two Senators along with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), reports Niraj Chokshi at The Washington Post. It would reclassify cannabis, allow for limited interstate transport of it, expand access for research, make it easier for doctors to authorize veterans to use it, and make it easier for banks to provide services to the marijuana industry.

"it's the most comprehensive medical marijuana bill in Congress," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). The DPA and other activist organizations, including the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) and Americans for Safe Access (ASA) were consulted in drafting the bill. Advocates say they are mostly pleased with what they've seen and heard.

U.S.: Bill To End Federal Medical Marijuana Prohibition To Be Introduced In Senate

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Measure sponsored by Sens. Rand Paul, Corey Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand marks the first time in history that the Senate will consider a proposal to make medical marijuana legal under federal law

A bill will be introduced on Tuesday in the United States Senate which would end the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana.

U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Corey Booker (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on Tuesday will introduce the bill.

It will be the first time in history that the Senate considers a proposal to make medical marijuana legal under federal law.

“This is a significant step forward when it comes to reforming marijuana laws at the federal level," said Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "The vast majority of Americans support laws that allow seriously ill people to access medical marijuana.

"Several marijuana policy reform bills have been introduced in the House of Representatives," Riffle said. "The introduction of this legislation in the Senate demonstrates just how seriously this issue is being taken on Capitol Hill.

“The bipartisan nature of this proposal reflects the broad public support for resolving the tension between state and federal marijuana laws," Riffle said. "This is a proposal that Republicans and Democrats should both be able to get behind.

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