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Congressional Lobbying Cheat Sheet

General Talking Points:

  • The ongoing enforcement of cannabis prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant's medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color.
  • The criminalization of marijuana is a disproportionate public policy response to behavior that is, at worst, a public health matter, but not a criminal justice concern.
  • Responsible marijuana consumers should not face arrest, potential incarceration, a criminal record, and the stigma associated with it, for using a substance that is objectively safer than alcohol as well as most conventional medications.

The following federal bills are pending before members of the United States Congress:


H.R. 1013: Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act

INTRODUCED: Feb 20, 2015

PURPOSE: To remove cannabis from the United States Controlled Substances Act; to remove the enforcement power from the US Drug Enforcement Administration in matter concerning marijuana possession, production, and sales — thus permitting state governments to regulate these activities as they see fit.

TAKE ACTION NOW - H.R. 1013

Key Talking Points:

  • Majority of voters support regulating marijuana;
  • Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats believe that the federal government should not enforce criminalization in states that regulate marijuana use, production, and sales;
  • It is time to stop ceding control of the marijuana market to untaxed criminal enterprises and to allow state governments the opportunity to pursue alternative regulatory policies.

S. 683: CARERS Act of 2015

INTRODUCED: Mar 10, 2015

PURPOSE: To permit qualified patients, doctors, and businesses to engage in state-sanctioned behavior involving the production, sale, or use of medical cannabis without fear of federal prosecution; to reschedule marijuana at the federal level and remove the compound cannabidiol (CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act; to permit opportunities for financial institutions to legally provide services to medical marijuana businesses, to permit VA doctors to authorize medical cannabis, and to remove existing federal barriers to clinical trial research.

HOUSE COMPANION BILL: H.R. 1538

INTRODUCED: Mar 23, 2015

TAKE ACTION NOW S.683 / H.R. 1538

Key Talking Points:

  • Nearly 9 out of 10 Americans support allowing physicians to authorize medical marijuana therapy;
  • 23 states and the District of Columbia permit medical marijuana access. 14 additional states have enacted separate legislation exempting the compound cannabidiol (CBD) from the definition of marijuana. Patients and providers in these states should be able to participate in these programs without fear of federal prosecution or interference;
  • Leading scientists and medical organizations, including Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the American Nurses Association, and the Epilepsy Foundation of America, support medical cannabis access.

H.R. 667: Veterans Equal Access Act

INTRODUCED: Feb 3, 2015

PURPOSE: To permit Department of Veterans Affairs health care providers “to provide recommendations and opinions to veterans regarding participation in state marijuana programs.”

TAKE ACTION NOW - H.R. 667

Key Talking Points:

  • Passage of this act would allow VA doctors to recommend cannabis therapy to veterans in the 23 states that presently allow for its therapeutic use;
  • Many veterans suffer from PTSD, a condition that is poorly treated by conventional therapies. Studies have determined that marijuana mitigates various symptoms of post-traumatic stress, including nightmares and insomnia. One recent peer-reviewed study reported a greater than 75 percent reduction in post-traumatic stress symptoms following subjects’ legal use medical cannabis (Greer et al., 2014. PTSD Symptom Reports of Patients Evaluated for the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program);
  • In a recent House floor vote, some 200 members of Congress decided in favor of an amendment to allow veterans greater ability to access medical marijuana therapy.

H.R. 525: Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015

INTRODUCED: Jan 26, 2015

PURPOSE: To amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp.

SENATE COMPANION BILL: S. 134

INTRODUCED: Jan 8, 2015

TAKE ACTION NOW - H.R. 525 / S. 134

Key Talking Points

  • 21 states have enacted legislation redefining hemp as an agricultural commodity and allowing for state-sponsored research and/or commercial cultivation of hemp;
  • The United States is the only western nation that does not permit commercial hemp production and manufacturing;
  • Hemp is a genetically distinct species of cannabis lacking in THC content; its consumption is not mood altering;
  • A 2015 Congressional Research Service report concluded, "[A] commercial hemp industry in the United States could provide opportunities as an economically viable alternative crop for some US growers."

H.R. 1774: Compassionate Access Act

INTRODUCED: April 14, 2015

REFERRED TO COMMITTEE: April 14, 2015

PURPOSE: To provide for the rescheduling of marijuana, the medical use of marijuana in accordance with State law, and the exclusion of cannabidiol from the definition of marijuana, and for other purposes.

TAKE ACTION NOW - H.R. 1774

Key Talking Points:

  • Nearly 9 out of 10 Americans support allowing physicians to authorize medical marijuana therapy;
  • 23 states and the District of Columbia permit medical marijuana access. 14 additional states have enacted separate legislation exempting the compound cannabidiol (CBD) from the definition of marijuana. Patients and providers in these states should be able to participate in these programs without fear of federal prosecution or interference;
  • Leading scientists and medical organizations, including Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the American Nurses Association, and the Epilepsy Foundation of America, support medical cannabis access;
  • Removing cannabis from Schedule I will facilitate scientific research and clinical studies by doctors.

H.R. 1635: Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act of 2015

INTRODUCED: Mar 25, 2015

PURPOSE: To amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude cannabidiol and cannabidiol-rich plants from the definition of marihuana, and for other purposes.

Key Talking Points

  • CBD is not mood altering or euphoric; studies have found it to be safe and well-tolerated in human subjects;
  • CBD administration has shown to be effective in subjects with intractable epilepsy, including pediatric epilepsy (Press et al., 2015. Parental reporting of responses to oral cannabis extracts for treatment of refractory epilepsy);
  • 14 states have enacted legislation exempting the compound cannabidiol (CBD) from the definition of marijuana. Patients in these states lack access to CBD because it is classified as a schedule I controlled substance under federal law.

S. 1333: Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act

INTRODUCED: May 13, 2015

PURPOSE: To amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude cannabidiol and cannabidiol-rich plants from the definition of marijuana.

TAKE ACTION NOW - S. 1333

Key Talking Points

  • CBD is not mood altering or euphoric; studies have found it to be safe and well-tolerated in human subjects;
  • CBD administration has shown to be effective in subjects with intractable epilepsy, including pediatric epilepsy (Press et al., 2015. Parental reporting of responses to oral cannabis extracts for treatment of refractory epilepsy);
  • 14 states have enacted legislation exempting the compound cannabidiol (CBD) from the definition of marijuana. Patients in these states lack access to CBD because it is classified as a schedule I controlled substance under federal law.
  • Provisions in the federal Farm Act already differentiate between hemp and marijuana

H.R. 2076: Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act

INTRODUCED: April 28, 2015

PURPOSE: To create protections for depository institutions that provide financial services to marijuana-related businesses, and for other purposes.

Key Talking Points:

  • No industry can operate safely, transparently or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions;
  • Forcing state-licensed businesses to operate on a ‘cash-only’ basis increases the risks for crime and fraud;
  • Ultimately, the responsibility is upon Congress — not upon the U.S. Treasury Department — to change federal policy so that this growing number of state-compliant businesses, and their consumers, may operate in a manner that is similar to other legal commercial entities.

H.R. 262: States’ Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act

INTRODUCED: Jan 9, 2015

PURPOSE: To amend the Controlled Substances Act so as to exempt real property from civil forfeiture due to medical marijuana-related conduct that is authorized by State law.


S. 987: Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2015

INTRODUCED: Apr 16, 2015

PURPOSE: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow deductions and credits relating to expenditures in connection with marijuana sales conducted in compliance with State law.

HOUSE COMPANION BILL: H.R 1855

INTRODUCED: Apr 16, 2015


H.R. 1014: Marijuana Tax Revenue Act of 2015

INTRODUCED: Feb 20, 2015

REFERRED TO COMMITTEE: Feb 20, 2015

PURPOSE: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for the taxation of marijuana.

SPONSOR: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR3)