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Congressmen Introduces Bill To Increase States’ Medical Marijuana Rights


don young alaska marijuanaAlaskan Congressman Don Young recently joined Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) to introduce H.R. 1538, the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act, which would allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies, recognize a legitimate use for marijuana at the federal level, and allow Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors to recommend safe and effective marijuana-related treatments. The bipartisan, bicameral legislation is a companion to S. 683, introduced earlier this month by Senators Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

“The topic of medical and recreational marijuana has always been an issue of states’ rights for me, a position based upon a strong belief in the 10th Amendment and the principals of federalism established by our Founders,” said Congressman Don Young. “The CARERS Act aims to protect states that have legalized medical marijuana and allows them to properly enforce their own laws. My position aims to reaffirm the states’ rights to determine the nature of criminal activity within their own jurisdictions, which I believe is critical for states to effectively legislate within their borders.”

“Drug policy reform is long overdue, but I am pleased that today it is an issue that unites both Democrats and Republicans,” said Congressman Steve Cohen. “The science has been in for a long time, and keeping marijuana on Schedule I—with heroin and LSD—is ludicrous. I am pleased to join with Congressman Don Young in introducing this important bill to bring the federal government in line with the science and the American people, respect states’ rights, remove the threat of federal prosecution in states with medical marijuana, and help our citizens access the treatments they need.”

This legislation, which builds upon previous House efforts, would not legalize medical marijuana in any state but would force the federal government to respect states’ rights to set their own medical marijuana policies and prevent federal law enforcement from prosecuting patients, doctors and caregivers in those states. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have already legalized medical marijuana. Roughly a dozen additional states recognize a medical use for cannabidiol (CBD), a therapeutic compound derived from marijuana.

If passed and signed into law, the CARERS Act would:

  • Allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies and eliminate federal prosecution of patients, providers, and businesses in states with medical marijuana programs;
  • Reschedule marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II, recognizing legitimate medical use;
  • Allow for greater access to cannabidiol (CBD);
  • Allow access to banking services for marijuana-related businesses that are operating pursuant to state law;
  • Allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana;
  • Cut red tape and expand opportunities for research on marijuana.

Source: Congressman Don Young


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Johnny Green


  1. flowerfairybird on

    It’s still a PLANT. A Botanical HERB. It has properties that heal and treat medical “issues” and it can impart a pleasant (or possibly an unpleasant) sensation that is temporary and harmless. It is NOT a drug. Drugs are man made compounds. They do not GROW from seeds. Cannabis does. See how that works? The Cannabis plant is a nearly perfect protein containing all the amino acids required for life (including the 9 our bodies can not make on it’s own) in nearly perfect proportion too.
    Co-Incidence? Hardly.

  2. flowerfairybird on

    No aspirin is a drug. Cannabis is a BOTANICAL; A Plant. It does have cause mind altering (perception) changes in that it heightens the senses. MOST of the paranoia that surrounds is because of the illegal status and the negative image they have tried to give it in the media, but It is also has many medicinal properties good for many health problems. That still does not make it a drug. Turmeric has health benefits too but it’s also not a drug. Drugs are manufactured (NOT grown. Even poppies need to be refined with chemicals to make it into a drug). Cannabis is also a nearly perfect complete protein. It contains ALL the amino acids required for life INCLUDING the 9 our bodies can’t make on it’s own. That’s NO coincidence. That God’s gift to us. So you see it also has nutritional value. It’s a healing FOOD, and also in the form of hemp (which contain negligible to no THC) useful as rope, fabric, bio-degradable plastic and bio-fuel which is the real reason it’s illegal. Big pharma I believe is the biggest opponent at this juncture though. The laws against cannabis are far more harmful than any negative effect it has for some people sometimes (sleepiness, hunger, forgetfulness or some paranoia in new users & sometimes even old users but usually only if they are still using it in an illegal place) but these effects are always temporary and for most people, mild. Withdrawal from heavy use may cause a bit of anxiety or insomnia for some people . Some in rehabs may present it as a worse than it is. It makes a good excuse for someone in trouble or with other severe issues (which it can mask, make worse & sometimes fix). Still not indicators it deserves to be outlawed. The studies have shown perhaps( in smoking it) a bit of increased risk in bronchitis. But, That’s it. Do you have any idea how many people have died because we outlawed it? Many thousands in the past 50 years if you include Mexico not to mention the rest of the world. NOT from the plant. NOT ONE Death has resulted directly from the plant. No, those deaths occurred because of attempts to outlaw the plant. Many lives have been lost in this bogus “war on drugs” which is really a war on people. Let the DEA spend our precious resources going after the ones bringing in and cooking up these other drugs deadly dangerous synthetic drugs. This country has too many other problems to be addressing now, like poverty. Fighting the wrong battles is what is putting our Nation in decline.

  3. It is a drug, don’t kid yourself. It alters the mind, it has hallucinogenic properties, is a pain killer, and is a muscle relaxant along with many other wonderful things. Cucumbers/Kohlrabi/Cabbage/Basil/Turnips/etc don’t provide what marijuana does because they are just vegetables/plants. Are they beneficial to life? You bet, but a plant containing vitamins and minerals does not alleviate ailments like marijuana does for a reason: they aren’t drugs.

  4. flowerfairybird on

    It’s both, and “they” will pay dearly for it. It is wrong to commandeer ownership of a national resource and take it away from the people. It is a PLANT, a food, NOT a DRUG! They will answer to God himself over this plant. They can play “dumb” all they want but God knows the truth. They can not hide their greedy, and fearful ways from him. Continuing to place themselves above HIM and Sick folks. There will be retribution for that, the bible promises. They can not have it both ways. They are making a profit off keeping sick people suffering when the evidence it clear it provided great relief for many who are sick and suffering.. This is in revelations. Those who do not repent & change their ways will burn forever as those who are now suffering will be redeemed. I say bring your wrath down on those who continue causing harm & doo not repent and change now if they continue Lord, have mercy on the sick and poor & Take vengeance for the sick and the weak, for the land and the plants thereof are YOURS and you gave them freely to ALL saying it is good.

  5. stellarvoyager on

    Both DiFi and Grassley are up for reelection in 2016. DiFi in particular can be very vulnerable on this issue, being from a medical marijuana state where there is 55% support for recreational legalization and almost 20 years of unwanted fed. interference in their medical program. She could be vulnerable to a primary challenge from a younger, pro-cannabis candidate such as Gavin Newsom. Grassley may also be vulnerable because polling has shown strong support for medical MJ in Iowa, but DiFi would be the more vulnerable of the two just because Cali has had medical for so long, and is sick and tired of the interference from the feds. If DiFi won’t represent the strongly expressed wishes of her state’s voters, and if she instead helps to perpetuate the unpopular fed crackdown, then she is ripe for defeat in 2016, especially with a likely legalization initiative on the ballot.

  6. I simply don’t understand why there have not been more reps and senators getting on board with these bills. They have the raw data, they know there is a huge contingent of the population that is pro marijuana, and they know there is also a wealth of folks that believe in states rights trumping federal law relative to the issue.
    Is it hubris? Is it owing lobbyists who want to keep it illegal? You decide.

  7. You’ve nailed the main obstacles. Senator Grassley said he was against the CARERS Act and said he was unlikely to give it a hearing. I think there is an opportunity to call these senators out on their 10th Amendment hypocrisy.

    In November 2013, Senators Cochran, Grassley, Isakson, Sessions, Roberts, Thune, Inhofe, Crapo, Risch, Enzi, and Cornyn cosponsored a bill introduced by Senator Wicker called the ‘Restoring the 10th Amendment Act’.

    Grassley and others who oppose the CARERS Act need to be asked to reconcile their opposition to it, with their professed support for the 10th Amendment.

    Here’s a link to the Restoring the 10th Amendment Act. It’s brief and reads like an ode to the 10th Amendment. It’s worth reading what they put their names to =>


  8. Tricky Ricky on

    I don’t think either one of these bills have a shot…especially the Senate bill. The Senate judiciary committee has geniuses like Orin Hatch, Chuck Grasserly, john Cornyn, David Vitter, Ted Cruz, Jeff fucking Sessions,….and Diane Feinstein to boot. It has to get out of a committee of fossils to have a prayer and I don’t think that’s possible. I hope I’m wrong, but until some of these old Reagan senators retire or expire I don’t see them voting for this. Their spindly minds just can’t process how ridiculous the war on cannabis is and how beneficial cannabis legalization would be no matter how many goddam facts you put in front of them. It’s so foreign to the grasserly’s and sessions of the world because they have no experience with it and are totally brainwashed by refer madness. Soooo frustrating!

  9. Hooray for Don Young and Steve Cohen! Anyone who lives in their district, be sure to call them and say thank you.

    Does the lack of subject-verb agreement in the article’s title bother anyyone else? Congressmen is plural, so it should be introduce, not introduces. Not to nitpick, Johnny Green, you do a great job gathering all this info and I read the site every day. And ” States’ ” is correct, and way more people mess up plural possessives like that. Sorry all, hope I didn’t kill anyone’s buzz, promise I’m not a cop, just kinda anal on grammar.

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