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Marijuana Reform Bill Started Down Senate Path by Rand Paul

Image: Marijuana Reform Bill Started Down Senate Path by Rand Paul
From left to right, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrandand Rand Paul during a news conference introducing bipartisan legislation in the US Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, March 10, 2015. (Michael Reynolds/EPA/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 08:54 AM

A bipartisan federal marijuana reform bill was unveiled in yhe Senate on Tuesday that would downgrade pot's status as a controlled substance, make it easier for scientists to study it, and let banks do business with marijuana outfits without fear of prosecution.

As The Washington Times reported, the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act was introduced by Sens. Rand Paul, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand.

"Almost half the states have legalized marijuana for medical use; it’s long past time to end the federal ban," Michael Collins, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in positive response to the proposed legislation.

According to The Washington Post, the bill could realign federal law with the medical establishment's recommendations on cannabis by explicitly downgrading it from a Schedule I to a Schedule II controlled substance.

The American Medical Association, for example, has recommended that "marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines."

Likewise, the American Cancer Society "believes that the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration imposes numerous conditions on researchers and deters scientific study of cannabinoids."

Nearly half of the U.S. population lives in a state where medical marijuana is legal, and four states have legalized it outright.

Both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana growers and retailers have had trouble operating, as most banks and investors will not do business with them for fear of a federal crackdown. The new bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act to hand power back to the states to set their own marijuana policies more fully, making it easier for financiers to do business in the burgeoning industry.

"We’re thrilled to see a bipartisan bill on this issue," Brendan Kennedy, Privateer Holdings' chief executive, told The Wall Street Journal. "For us, it would open up the possibility of direct investment in companies involved in the handling and growing of this product in the U.S."

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A bipartisan federal marijuana reform bill was unveiled in yhe Senate on Tuesday that would downgrade pot's status as a controlled substance, make it easier for scientists to study it, and let banks do business with marijuana outfits without fear of prosecution.
marijuana, reform, bill, senate, rand paul
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2015-54-11
Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 08:54 AM
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