How long will it be until the United States government recognizes cannabis as a medicinal, useful plant, and not just an abused drug? You’d be interested to know that states aren’t the only ones accepting cannabis in various forms – the U.S. government is actually closer than ever to legalizing the plant. In fact, a group of bipartisan legislators have recently made an effort to propel medical marijuana to the top, legalizing the plant for medicinal purposes and protecting those working with it from federal consequences.
The proposal puts into effect the Obama Administration’s ‘hands-off approach’ to medical marijuana to a new level by completely protecting states partaking in medical marijuana from any federal prosecution.
As reported by HighTimes:
“The proposed legislation, aptly entitled 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 press release issued by the lawmakers. The bill would also downgrade the DEA’s current Schedule I classification to a Schedule II.”
The bill showcases 5 key points, according to individuals familiar with the bill:
- Marijuana would no longer be considered a ‘Schedule I’ drug with ‘no medicinal value.’ As of now, marijuana is grouped with heroin, ecstasy, and LSD – all of which are considered to have no medicinal value. The bill would lower marijuana to a ‘Schedule II’ group, which are drugs that are still dangerous and likely to be abused, but do have medicinal use.
- It would become easier to transport marijuana between states.
- Banks would more easily be able to provide services for those working with medical marijuana.
- The bill would open more doors expanding the possibilities in marijuana research, which would come from a National Institute on Drug Abuse reform.
- Doctors working for the Department of Veterans Affairs in states where medical marijuana is legal would be able to recommend it for certain conditions.
Although most recent history tells us that we are ever-so-close to passing such a national bill, it is difficult to say whether we’re at the point of making this nationwide stride in marijuana development. But either way, the bill will stir up some much needed discussion on the topic of nationwide pot reform, leading to leading to what will eventually be nationwide legalization.
With 23 states legalizing medical marijuana, and Colorado and Washington legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes, there is no doubt that we’ll see even more states pass similar bills in 2015. The movement seems to have gained enough momentum to ride to the end.
If passed, the proposal would be the most significant level of marijuana reform in the United States since prohibition.
Image from: HighTimes