United States Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Don Young (R-AK) have introduced the House version of groundbreaking legislation that would legalize medical cannabis across the United States, while removing it as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.
A Senate version of the bill, referred to as the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, was filed earlier this month by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Dean Heller (R-NV).
Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) Introduce Bipartisan CARERS Act
Today, a comprehensive bipartisan medical marijuana legalization bill was introduced to Congress that would prevent federal law enforcement agencies from interfering in state medical marijuana laws. The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act would recognize marijuana’s medical validity by rescheduling it from Schedule I (no accepted medical use and high potential for abuse) into Schedule II (some medical value and high potential for abuse). This would allow banks greater freedom to provide financial services to state-legal medical dispensaries, improve transportability of the drug, and open doors for scientific research. Currently, medical marijuana patients, dispensary owners and cultivators are still in violation of federal law, and could be subject to federal prosecution. This has remained an obstacle for many other states that would otherwise be considering similar policies.