This March, Senators Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Rand Paul introduced the CARERS Act — the most comprehensive piece of marijuana legislation the U.S. Senate has ever seen.
We’ve made a lot of progress since then, and I want to fill you in on where we stand. We are now up to 15 cosponsors. In fact, even Chuck Schumer, the possible future head of the Senate Democrats, just signed on.
As the Senate heads into recess, it’s important we get even more cosponsors to sign on. With more cosponsors we’ll have the political pressure we need to force a hearing and subsequently a vote in the Judiciary Committee.
Over the past couple of months, the Senate Appropriations Committee has passed individual pieces of the CARERS Act – allowing Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana, protecting medical marijuana laws from federal interference, and allowing the banking industry to provide services to marijuana businesses – but all of those votes were only temporary one year fixes.
The passage of the CARERS Act would be a watershed moment in the fight to end the war on drugs. This pivotal piece of legislation would permanently change federal law. The CARERS Act would do the following things:
- Let states legalize medical marijuana without federal interference.
- Expand research into the health benefits of marijuana.
- Allow Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend marijuana to ailing veterans.
- Completely legalize CBD strains of marijuana for medical treatment nationwide.
- Re-classify marijuana as Schedule 2, admitting to the world that marijuana does in fact have medical benefits.
- Allow banks to legally provide financial services to marijuana businesses.
The times are changing, and the CARERS Act has a real shot at passing. But we need your help.
With your help, we can protect state medical marijuana laws and end the criminalization of patients and their families.
Director, National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance