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March 9, 2015

Bipartisan federal medical marijuana bill to be introduced Tuesday

As reported in this new Washington Post entry, headlined "In a first, senators plan to introduce federal medical marijuana bill," a trio of notable Senators have interesting plans for mid-day Tuesday:

In what advocates describe as an historic first, a trio of senators plan to unveil a federal medical marijuana bill Tuesday. The bill, to be introduced by Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), would end the federal ban on medical marijuana.

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act 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 from the senators’ offices. The bill will also “make overdue reforms to ensure patients – including veterans receiving care from VA facilities in states with medical marijuana programs – access the care they need.” The proposal will be unveiled at a 12:30 p.m. press conference on Tuesday, which will be streamed live here. Patients, their families and advocates will join the senators at the press conference.

The announcement was met with praise by advocates. “This is a significant step forward when it comes to reforming marijuana laws at the federal level,” Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. “It’s long past time to end the federal ban,” said Michael Collins, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement. Both describe the introduction of the bill as a first for the Senate....

In December, Congress for the first time in roughly a decade of trying approved an amendment that bars the Justice Department from using its funds to prevent states from implementing their medical marijuana laws — a significant victory for proponents of the practice.

Potential Republican presidential candidates Rand, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) have all said they support states’ rights to legalize pot, though they themselves disagree with the policy.

Cross-posted at Marijuana Law, Policy and Reform

March 9, 2015 at 05:14 PM | Permalink


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From the utility perspective, this question has been settled. Either legalize marijuana, or prohibit alcohol and tobacco, with lashes for the user, and summary executions of thousands of seller. Because there is zero support for prohibition, legalization is the sole rational, logically consistent policy. That is because those two substances are 10,000 more lethal than marijuana. The latter kills fifty people, all by car crashes. The alcohol and tobacco kill 500,000 combined, not counting half the accident victims, the murder victims, the murderers and the suiciders who are legally intoxicated. Bill and I disagreed, and I wanted to persuade him to preserve his logical consistency.

So why the delay? If it true that we must wait for ensconced people to ide of natural causes, because people cannot change past a certain age, either get rid of them solely on the basis of age, or kill them on trumped up charges. Establish a term a tenure limit on the Supreme Court such as 20 years, to attenuate political influence.

The sclerotic nature of the law is the most important, far reaching, and damaging effect to be noted from this episode. I prefer killing the hierarchy for their treason. To deter. But just firing them past their overstaying, is as good, I will admit.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 9, 2015 6:11:33 PM

A neighbor who is a disabled Iraq war veteran (he served 3 tours of duty as an Army Ranger) with severe PTSD has highlighted this issue for me in recent months. It is widely believed that smoking a little marijuana relieves many of the symptoms of PTSD. Even in the 23 states where medical marijuana is legal, V.A. physicians cannot write prescriptions to veterans with PTSD for medical marijuana, because it remains illegal under Federal law and the V.A. is a Federal agency. So, the V.A. docs and nurse practitioners have to suggest, with a nod and a wink, that veterans with PTSD find some marijuana on their own to smoke, without a prescription. My friend has long predicted that pressure from within the V.A., where physicians want to prescribe medical marijuana to treat veterans' PTSD symptoms, would eventually move Congress to consider legalizing marijuana at the Federal level,and that now seems to be happening.

Posted by: Jim Gormley | Mar 10, 2015 12:28:57 PM

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