Compelled by news of constituents having to move out-of-state to seek medical cannabis, Virginia Congressman Morgan Griffith introduced a bill earlier this week that would reschedule cannabis on a federal level, reducing it from a Schedule 1 controlled substance to Schedule 2, and would grant states with medical cannabis laws federal protection.
H. R. 4498, the Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marijuana Act, is intended “To provide for the legitimate use of medicinal marijuana in accordance with the laws of the various States,” by both rescheduling cannabis to a classification that concedes there is medical use for the plant (Schedule 1 substances are considered to have no known medical value), and establishing protections for people authorized under state laws to possess, grow and use medical cannabis.
Simple and succinct, the bill is just under 4 pages long, and reads almost in its entirety as such:
In a State in which marijuana may be prescribed by a physician for medical use under applicable State law, no provision of the Controlled Substances Act or of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act shall prohibit or otherwise restrict—
(A) the prescription of marijuana by a physician for medical use;
(B) an individual who is an authorized patient from obtaining, possessing, transporting within the individual’s State, or using marijuana for that individual’s medical use;
(C) an individual authorized under State law to obtain, possess, transport within their State, or manufacture marijuana, from obtaining, possessing, transporting within that State, or manufacturing marijuana pursuant to that authorization; or
(D) a pharmacy or other entity authorized under State law to distribute medical marijuana to an authorized patient, from obtaining or possessing marijuana for that purpose, or from distributing marijuana to an authorized patient for medical use.
No provision of the Controlled Substances Act or of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act shall prohibit or otherwise restrict an entity authorized by a State, in which marijuana may be prescribed by a physician for medical use, for the purpose of producing marijuana for prescription by a physician for medical use, from producing, processing, or distributing marijuana for such purpose.
The bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce; anyone interested in contacting committee members to encourage them to support this measure can do so by calling (202) 225-2927.