Federal Legislation Reintroduced to Legalize and Reschedule Medical Cannabis

Members of Congress reintroduced legislation this week to protect state-authorized medical marijuana patients from federal prosecution.

House Bill 689, the States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, would ensure that medical cannabis patients in states that have approved its use will no longer have to fear arrest or prosecution from federal law enforcement agencies. It states, “No provision of the Controlled Substances Act shall prohibit or otherwise restrict in a State in which marijuana may be prescribed or recommended by a physician for medical use under applicable State law.”

The measure also calls for the federal government to reclassify cannabis so that it is no longer categorized as a Schedule I prohibited substance with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. It states: “Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration shall, based upon the recommendation under paragraph (1), issue a notice of proposed rulemaking for the rescheduling of marijuana within the Controlled Substances Act, which shall include a recommendation to list marijuana as other than a Schedule I or Schedule II.”

In January, a three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied petitioners request to overturn the Obama administration’s July 2011 rejection of an administrative petition that sought to initiate hearings regarding the reclassification of marijuana under federal law.

Separate federal legislation, House Bill 710: The Truth in Trials Act, which provides an affirmative defense in federal court for defendants whose actions were in compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their state was also reintroduced this week in the US House of Representatives.

Those who wish to contact their member of Congress in support of these federal measures can do so by clicking here.

58 thoughts

  1. There needs to be a deluge of this type of pressure on marijuana reform until the ramparts of prohibition have been swept away in the tidal wave of common sense and compassion.

  2. If the majority of “WE THE PEOPLE” want marijuana or medical marijuana legal, which they do, then it should be!!

  3. The Los Angeles Times reported 2/15/13 in its Local section that a court ruled this past Thursday that the feds can indeed close Harborside.

    This excerpt:

    “U.S. can proceed with plans to close Oakland pot shop, court says
    Judge throws out lawsuit by Oakland that challenged as illegal the federal attempts to shutter the medical marijuana dispensary, which is the nation’s largest.”

    I’m thinking that unless the economy is even more in the dumps Congress won’t end the war on cannabis consumers. According to an agreement in Toronto in 2010, the U.S. is obliged to cut its deficit in half by 2016. Hopefully, cannabis prohibition enforcement funding will fall victim to sequestration cuts.

    If not, might this be approached in a more furtive way, like really sneaky?

    What do I mean? Well, working on the premise that as soon as federal politicians see anything that includes cannabis or marijuana that they automatically see to its demise.

    Well, what if legislation were crafted that appeared to give states a bit more protection or leeway in implementing ObamaCare, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and there would be language in there without mentioning cannabis or marijuana that can be used to keep the feds from meddling in cannabis states? The Obama haters would pounce on it to get it passed, and the pro-cannabis politicians would have the unwitting support to get it passed into law. Then, when if comes to litigation, the federal court would have to issue such a ruling which would prevent the DOJ, DEA, IRS, and other federal agencies from doing any further damage.

    Pardon the expression, but there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

    Maybe it’s feasible. Maybe they’ll get wise to it, and see to it that it fails.

    Anybody got any other ideas?

  4. I’m so tiered of my tax dollars going towards arresting non-violent offenders over Marijuana. As well as calling and identifying users of Marijuana criminals. What a waste of time and money for both sides. Tax it and be done, lets move on to serious issues like Crack, Cocaine, Meth and heroine and how to rehabilitate these users.

  5. It is great to see the MJ movement pushing on so many fronts right now. For my part, I’ve begun to pester my Reps and Senators more often. It always feels a bit creepy when the person on the phone asks your name, etc. But it’s one of the only ways to get it done. So, come on you guys, let’s push it through!

  6. What will this bill mean for employee drug tests if it is passed? If you have a prescription for it can your employer still fire you?

  7. I stil say organizing a credible committed pro weed voting bloc in Ohio and Florida representing 5% of the vote would ensure a change in both political parties stances, Pronto. You can’t lose both those states and win the White House. We can legalize marijuana only when we learn how to play the game, such as it is. If not the next president will be either Hillary, who can’t distance herself enough from Weed. Biden, who’s to the right of most Republican’s on weed, or whoever the Republicans nominate, who even if he or she was a wake and bake stoner would remember what advocating for weed did to Gary Johnson’s political career in the big tent. Play the Game

  8. The adult in me says” this is great news and cant wait . I hope they finaly get the point that wasting money isnt the way to go”

    But the reality in me says” look at all the writtings on the wall. meth, cocain, and alot of prescription drugs (that can kill you because it says so in there disclaimers) is less harmfull and has more medical value than pot, or cannabis or weed or mj or what ever in the world you want to call it”

    I wish that pot could be viewed as an Alternative lifestyle , or medician or anything but a the most dangours cultavation on the planet. There are so many things to compair to be safer than but i wont even begin there because that gives the haters the right to compair unlike substances to make there opinion look as tho its the only choice.
    Instead lets look at the real situation,
    For reality of it is pot has and is and will be used by the great people of the north america for many years to come …legal or ileagal. It is never going to be your savor for tax relief because of the heafty price tag the federal govenment has taged it with…..Death, destruction, prison,and all the bureaucracies that have taken our freedoms with out any proof of danger.
    So go on haters keep hating, maybe one day you can have enough political power that if any of your family breaks the law with cannabis you can wave your magic wand and the rules and laws wont apply to yours( like a friend of mine who was busted with 10lbs of pot ready to go for distributiion, got 1 year probation and a 15000.00 fine) and they can go under the radar unlike the rest of us you think should be beaten down with the gavel of justice.
    life is so short and because you think your going to make a big difference by setting up your pot traps and taking freedoms away for the punishment……good job to you. the world is a better place knowing that you kept up the great work keeping America drug free with all the money you spent.
    But look around there is more pot now with your drug war in “high(pun intended)gear” than there ever has been.
    Do the best thing you can do.
    let the states have control of pot and regroup your efforts on other things like immigration and war for oil i mean helping set up a democracy then you might win a little more instead of wasting your efforts…….
    as always
    Thanks for reading

  9. Obama is the one person in power that could change all of this, but he doesn’t have the stones to do the right thing. At the very least they should reschedule it from a schedule 1 drug. Why is our government so damn stupid when it comes to this wonderful plant??? Probably because it would cost them a number of jobs at the DEA who definitely is against it.
    How about this idea: legalize MJ and it will free up resources to go after the shit that kills people like cocaine, heroine, and meth. I’d be real happy with that deal since I have no desire to do any of those drugs. Sorry Nancy Reagan, but your ‘gateway drug’ theory doesn’t apply to me!!!

  10. Rescheduling should have been done long ago and based on science and reason, a little compassion, too. We should not have to pass a law for this to happen.

    Prohibitionists have systematically sought to thwart the advance of medical science. I believe this is nothing short of a crime against humanity. Those most responsible should be identified and dealt with in the same cruel manner they saw fit to unleash on the rest of us.

  11. Man, we could tax it like 150%! $20 for 20 joints or 5 blunts: taxed 150% = $50. Thirty for tax and twenty for producers.

    It would pay off national debt, feed hungry plus have $ to pay for educations and such.

    Plus you feel happy on weed. Alcyhol and tobaccy not so much.

  12. I know that Harborside has fought a great fight and they deserve to be in business but because judges can be and are motivated to make such moves and keep everything in limbo it would be better in the long run for California and all states to go straight to legalization. That alleviates all the citizens from the government BS. You can not today nor will you ever again be able to trust that the US Government does anything for the betterment of the citizens of this country, they have an agenda that is persuaded by figures we are not allowed to see or know. By pass them all by legalization. Make sure Hemp is listed as legal for all as well.

  13. @Bill Renfro – You say that prohibition never works but that really depends on the actual goal and who you ask. If you work for law enforcement, sell it illegally for more than it would ever be worth if it was legal, take payola from Big Pharma (the politicians), make your living as a lawyer, have investments in private prisons, or work in drug rehab, then it works really well.

    On the other hand, if you’re a decent hard working otherwise law-abiding citizen who wants to use it, or if you need it for a medical reason, then it is a complete and utter failure!

  14. WHY THE HELL was it ever a schedule one drug in the first place. its ten times safer then cig. or liquor.it also helps a great deal with my m

  15. This is freaking AWESOME NORML! I just sent to every Congress link on the page. To bad Florida isn’t on the list of States—-YET! Tey’ll get there once they smell the CASH they are losing out on.

  16. I certainly hope that once cannabis is set free by congress,and left up to the states to decide whether to make it legal or not that the states who don’t want cannabis legal should have to pay for all arrest out of their own pocket.If the federal govt legalizes they should not give any money to the states who want to arrest people for possession.Same with the counties who wish to remain dry,they should get nothing from the state if cannabis is legal in that state.

  17. @ St. Nick,
    I hope yor being funny with your thoughts of your rediculious taxing idea.

    But if this is the way your mind process it thoughts then you should go back to make believe land and worry a little more on your elves making the right gifts cuz i never got what i wanted for christmas, and now i am seeing why.
    sorry for sounding mean

    The only thing the taxing of cannabis is going to do is drive it back underground because of the stupid idea that pot spent all of our money so now we must sell it to the sick and rec users to get it back.
    i mean really is this why people want it to become legal, so we can have tax dollars, that will get wasted on some other stupid sceem that the government sees fit.
    I agree that if its taxed in its proper manner there will be some revenue for the federalies to play with, but to fix our problems with our economy we would have had to gain control of the oil feilds we are or were(?) at war with.
    since it means to me to be an american these days we must be at war then why dont we find a war to trade them for pot.
    americans are at war with everything.
    war on drugs
    middle east war
    vietnam war
    world war 2
    korean war
    gulf war
    cold war.
    all these wars developed after cannabis was made illegal and there is plenty more i just thought ive made my point with a few.
    so go ahead and create the hightest tax you can because im sure we need another war to fund with tax dollars soon………
    thanks for reading

  18. As a rationally thinking person….it utterly amazes me to think in the year 2013 we are still putting people in jail for a plant…..A PLANT.
    I thought that our fore-fathers left England for freedom……and what do we have……bunch of commies

  19. Can’t you all see, that rescheduling on a federal level is the number one most important change of marijuana law. It will open the floodgates for everything.

  20. ok tax it but relax on the tax at 150 percent talk we tryin to bring prices to a respectable level damn — its weed not crack they should get some tax money but at the same time they shouldnt be robbin us — also what about work related testing that needs to stop

  21. I can be an asshole too and make up some dumb laws even if they kill the people and the planet.


  22. So tired of the other people trying to tell others what they can or can’t consume or do to their body.

    We don’t need government.

  23. Hello, my name is Michael Pupsikov, and I head the organization under the name Free America, where our mission to keep America drug-free for a bright and happy future of its citizens. At Free America we believe that harmful drugs such as marihuana should never be legal in this country, and that everyone who is using, or distributing, or even advocating the use of the so called “medical” marihuana, should be arrested, and persecuted, in accordance with our current Federal drug laws. The Obama administration is a silent supporter of marihuana legalization, since they have done absolutely nothing to stop the spread of this cancer in our country, and look what happened, we have 18 states using it for “medical” use, and 2 states have legalized it completely! At Free America we believe that everyone should go to jail, if they are associated with any illegal drugs in any way, even doctors who are prescribing it, and their patients, as well as state workers who help administer the program. At Free America we know for a fact that the vast majority of Americans are against legalization of harmful narcotics such as marihuana. We are dedicated to fighting this battle with marihuana-friendly White House, but we need your help. To donate, please visit http://www.MarihuanaFreeAmerica.com. We can win this thing!

  24. YES, it is about time the feds see just how foolish they look. Why is it that no southern states TN. Included have not even took a serious look the medical cannabis and all of it’s healing benefits. Is it because of BIG TOBACCO I think yes. EVERYBODY smokes in this state and it is widely condoned and tolerated.everywhere you go even to the grocery store you come back smelling like tobacco smoke. Just forget about being a passenger in the back seat of a car, YOU DIE!

  25. I was just reading some comments and I really don’t think the feds will let the CASH COW of trying to stop the “war” on pot. If pot was legal across the board can you imagine all the little piggies out of work. These boneheads got house and car payments to deal with plus sending the little piglets to private schools. Where talking a lot of cops, pollitcins , and other mucky-mucks that count on the futile agreement that “POT’ is any more harmful to the public then many other totally legal substances i.e. Corn syrup and mass pharmaceuticals that are killing this country as well golbally . No I pray someday for me to be able to freely rid myself from pain by smoking my own grown pot (if you will) but it be a long way away. Peace

  26. just a side note the “WAR’ on pot makes more money for the feds state and local cops the all the other drugs combined absolutely . Not to mention MJ is NOT I repeat NOT a drug by definition a DRUG will not sustaine life and clearly one can live off the benefits of this renewable crop. Peace

  27. @chris
    Man, are YOU an idiot? 150% tax sounds good to government officials. I’m trying to get this legalized. I don’t want it at 150! 11% would be good. I try to be funny with things, yes. You got a problem with the way I do things? What’s your problem? I’m not saying offensive shit. God damn!

  28. god…i cannot wait to see how the ‘free’ states will do with types of crime and traffic issues and health after they have been practicing being’free’. if the wonderful media will report it truthfully and the federal government will allow the TRUTH to be heard by all..fat chance for that. but if it is truthfully told, it will be a HUGE we told you so….cant wait to hear about it…

  29. It’s awesome that this is coming back into federal conversation, but to put such a large tax on it, is totally bogus. We need to write the reps that put it on the floor and ask why they suggest such high taxes when alcohol and tobacco are not taxed like that. We need to demand make scene laws and not ones where the government can tax it up to 100% before coming to market. Then local governments tax it at point of sale. ye must speak out.
    Thanks for letting me rant. Now if you want to check out some dank recipes vistit ganjalicioos.com
    Peace and Love

  30. @ St.Nick
    See here is the perfect example of America at war. I never called you any names , just was hoping your tax idea was a make believe joke.
    you however want to come onto a serious web site and make a comment (which i believe your intitled to) that im the idiot.

    I honestly believe this drug will take a long time to be handed over to the people due to its enourmus burden it carries, kinda like from people like you who think on one hand “i want it to be legal” but on the other hand “lets make jokes about it”. keep up the great work of mocking all the hard work that ” we the people” have done so far with your ignorent tax implications and name calling. maybe your are a politician, or should consider being one , you know with all your great ideas of how cannabis should be regulated and controled.

    have a great day ol st. nick.

    TO norml please accept my apologies for using this space for anti-stupid campaigning on behalf of those who take the legalization of cannabis a little more serious than others.
    as always
    thanks for reading

  31. St. Nick, if that “sounds good” to someone in office, they need removed ASAP! They are already confused enough by marijuana, lets not give out more bad ideas!

  32. Marijuana prohibition is a cult against humanity. A reminiscent of nationalism in the early 20th century that was fueled by hate, and to justify such actions with every spin possible. “The restricted mind is a good mind”, that’s the prohibition way.

  33. Wow, i just viewed some of the laws in States regarding possessing marijuana and to me being a Californian and not to brag but the penalties across this Nation are ridiculous . In a place where people freely smoke weed in or out of their homes it seems totally unreal that people are still being penalized for smoking marijuana .Glad i live in a place unlike all the others .

  34. I believe we can expect trickery. Even though the movement has started, the Feds will still do anything to stop or slow the progress. The reclassification is the key and they know it. Once cannibis has been reclassified it is out of the Feds hands. The one thing a dictator fears is the loss of power and control. I have Learned that with the feds is that nothing is ever as it appears.

  35. @Chris

    sorry to call you an idiot. You’re not. And that is a bad idea @ 150%. I figured we could lower the tax once cannabis is made legal. I want the USA to be perfect: legal pot would do that.

  36. @ will ,
    so you want my to take my first amendment away because?
    Thats the problem ,even people on the side lines want to be heard and the only way you could be heard is to tell someoone else to shut up. your an over achiever i bet.
    Just like i told ol st. nick even you have the right to state your opinion, but even opinion’s are debatable. Just amazed at how this web site is here so we can unite and stick together with all of our great and not so great ideas and opinion’s and become one against the bureaucracy’s that keep us gated as criminals.
    Then i see that all were up against is ourselves. no wonder marijuana isnt legal. the web site designed to unite us as one is just scotch taped together because all you can come up ith is

    Chris – please stop posting.
    Thank you.

    SO here is my reply to your will.
    i will not stop posting , not because its your “WILL” but because its my choice to express how i fell about the laws that are in place that keep us all confused as to how life is really supost to be lived …..”FREE”
    so if all you have to say is a incomplete thought of telling me to shut up please sir refrain from commenting @ me.
    thank you

  37. @St. Nick – A 150% tax or anything remotely close to that would be a disaster. Think about it, all it does is incent the less then legal market players, and the fallout from that isn’t going to be positive for the ‘movement’. Not to mention the cost and ‘feeding the beast’ aspects Chris was driving at in his comments. I’d also caution on the thoughts about being able to lower a tax once implemented, while certainly not impossible history suggests it’s usually an uphill battle. Should the people of the US or a specific state really be volunteering to have yet another tax applied to them? Personally I don’t think so. That said there is no doubt that the need for yet another revenue source is one of the things driving some of the support and progress in various legislative bodies at the moment and at some level is going to have to be one of the trade off to make legalization happen.

    @Chris – Don’t stop posting.

  38. TheOracle says: February 15, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Creative, but ObamaCare PP-ACA is screwed-up enough as it is, I’d prefer a much cleaner way that doesn’t leave things up to the interpretations of the judiciary at various levels.

  39. Yeah, believe me. I don’t want to pay that much. I thought legal and taxed was better than illegal. Maybe so but 11% tax would be fine. I’m not rich cough*greedy*asshole*cough. I like to smoke. Does it ever have medical value and there is safety in it’s use. So what if people smoke a lot. It would be easier to quit if you didn’t have to keep your connections “regular,” so you could go off for a week, month or year and starting up would be easy again. Just need to pray for this to be legal SOON. God(s) invented it. Man made Crystal Meth. I’d rather feel good with no bad effects. Come on government officials, wake up and smell what you’re shoveling. Pot should be legal. Simple as that. If you tried it – you’d agree.

  40. Jus wanted to say I am facing an upcoming courtdate for possession of not even enough pot to get high off of. Literally like a 20th of a gram. However here in Va anything under a half once carries the same penalty. How messed up is that. Whether it be a quarter of a bowl pack or 13.9 grams in the eyes of the law its the same amount. Since this is a subsequent offense-last one being ten years ago, I am facing possibly a year in jail and $2500 fine. This is what we are dealing with unless something is done!

  41. I was always taught growing up that this was a free country. But since I was 16 and wsa busted with a small amount of pot that dragged out and was appealed until a little after my 18th birthday, I was tried as an adult. I am 27 now and have kept my nose clean. I struggle with depression and anxiety on a daily basis and pot helps me cope with overbearing situations. I have not even been to court yet and already have been put on colors. Innocent before proven guilty my a$$. When I have children one day I dont want them to grow up in this kind of society when everything we are taught is shrouded in lies and secrecy! And alcohol is way more of a gateway drug than pot could ever be! Only reason pot is is because you have to deal with drug dealers to aquire it, and the fact the call it a “drug.”

  42. There is so much wrong in the world we can’t control, but some of the major things we can change, nobody wants to touch. I want to be patriotic–but these rats in office make it incredibly hard to be proud of where you came from! Makes a grown man want to cry thinking about what our country has become. And how can they justify gay marraige and fight my right to smoke? Pathetic. Im no homophobe but where’s the line? They get their rights and I dont get mine? F*ck that!

  43. Just say no to evil and greed. Not drugs. Drugs aren’t our #1 or 2 or 3rd biggest problem. Theft, killings and espionage are a little bit more imp. IMHO We DO have a drug “problem”, though… They’re illegal! Say no to bugs or expensive rugs. I want to be friendly with cops. Not nervous around’em. Simply legalizing just Cannabis would make the USA perfect.

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