Historic Senate Bill Seeks to Revamp Medical Marijuana

At a press conference this afternoon, Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rand Paul (R-KY) announced plans to introduce a measure, The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, in the US Senate to strengthen statewide medical marijuana protections and impose various changes to federal law.

Passage of the measure permits 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. The proposal reschedules marijuana at the federal level and removes the compound cannabidiol (CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act. Additional provisions would allow opportunities for financial institutions to legally provide services to medical marijuana businesses, permit VA doctors to authorize medical cannabis, and would remove existing federal barriers to clinical trial research.

“It is emblematic of how far the movement to reform our country’s failed marijuana policies has come when a Republican presidential hopeful partners with two high profile Democrats to undo the damage done by the war on cannabis consumers,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “We’d encourage all members of Congress to rally behind this effort to end the federal prohibition on medical marijuana, something that over 80% of the country supports. Ultimately, marijuana needs to be descheduled out of the Controlled Substances Act entirely, but this bill provides an excellent start to that broader discussion.”


51 thoughts

  1. all three of these true servants of the people
    have , in their short times of service , proven to be voices of reason especially when the right & left are just runnin further left & right, Mr. Paul has some good ideas on personal taxes as well ……jus sayin you kno

  2. The state of New Hampshire alleges it uses the Federal controlled drug Schedule, because they’ve been arresting, prosecuting and jailing people for years AND they forgot to form and publish the New Hampshire controlled drug schedule like their own law says they were supposed to. OOOOPS. Bad, State of New Hampshire, very bad!

    Of course the whole schedule scheme is silly and slavish. Free people don’t need others to tell them what they can ingest or not. Free people use their own discretion concerning their own bodies.

  3. Legalize medical marijuana? Are you kidding me!? Haven’t any of you people read all the research that concludes that if you smoke cannabis, you will go insane and there is no cure for it? This is ridiculous! We should make it more illegal! My Tabacco and alcohol are the only things that are keeping me safe and alive! And on a different note, FUCK YOU IGNORANT RACIST REPUBLICANS! Seriously, this is way overdue.. We better start callin all these incompetent law makers and DEMAND that they support this legislation (in case u didn’t get my sarcasm)

  4. With a clever acronym like CARERS and powerful words like “compassionate” and “respect states” in its name, this bill cannot fail.

  5. I applaud the effort, but the real question is whether this bill has any chance of even getting a committee hearing. Past bills have gone nowhere.

  6. Thank you Senators Booker, Rand and Gillibrand, and all who spoke with you/presented at the press conference. It’s awesome to see you all fight for what’s right in a powerful meaningful strategic way, with irrefutable arguments, testimony and advocates from all related points of view. I am impressed with your resolution and you give me hope for the future of America. You Senators are the leadership this country needs. I’m with you 100% in heart, mind and spirit and I applaud you. Now if only Attorney General Holder (and Judge Mueller) would follow suit and show some common sense now, right now, we could get past this era of idiocy, move forward/progress, and make the world a better place. CARERS Act Press Conference c/o U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand: http://goo.gl/SlLR77

  7. “Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rand Paul (R-KY) announced plans to introduce a measure, The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, in the US Senate to strengthen statewide medical marijuana protections and impose various changes to federal law.”

    That’s one motley crew of senators. Reform attacks prohibition from the left and the right. We got ’em in a cross fire now!


  8. This makes me happy because I’m sure it really bugs Michelle Leonhart and Kevin Sabet! Those two keep betting on and hoping that our leaders will just continue their prohibition idiocy and have been sorely let down as of late 🙂

  9. Marijuana may be legal in your state for medicinal and recreational use, but are toxic pesticides used in its production? What you perceive as natural may be tainted by dangerous chemicals.

    A study released today of the 23 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized marijuana finds a patchwork of state laws and evolving policy that define allowed pesticide use and management practices in cannabis production.

    Read more about it here: http://www.beyondpesticides.org/watchdog/cannabis.php

  10. please correct me where I am wrong, but if marijuana gets rescheduled, to be considered to have medical purpose… By the federal government. Does that mean employers will no longer be able to discriminate (hire or fire) against employees who use medical marijuana. Will medical marijuana be protected under the ADA now?

  11. Thank you very much for introducing this legislation.

    It just needs traction.

    The media needs to latch onto this like a gila monster. I mean just don’t let it go. Your meme is that not passing this sort of legislation causes people to suffer needlessly because their lives are better with cannabis. They need the guilt trip over and over again. The public needs to see them shamed in the media for not passing this sort of legislation. Harry Smith did follow-ups separate of the network news. Great job, too! The network 6:30 national news and the cable news channels are the ones who need to keep memes for this legislation in the news cycle. They need to be kept getting brought back into the news cycles after the drop off the radar. It needs the Lazarus effect, and the resurrection effect.

  12. This dog chasing it’s tail round and round will never solve anything it is inevitable that cannabis is going to be legal throughout the country let’s stop pussy footing around and put this to rest

  13. The cat is out of the bag. And fancy that, it was a tiger cub.

    GG prohibition. A shame you ruined so many lives…

    Godspeed Brothers and Sisters, I’m sorry so many of your lives were ruined over a harmless plant.

    Never. Ever. Forget.

  14. I’ll say it again; anyone can figure out that taxing recreational and industrial cannabis can subsidize medicinal marijuana use… What we need is good people like Mr. Armentano to write the legislation for our desensitized Congressional colleagues.
    Why is it that in order to win legal battles we have to write our own summary judgements?

  15. when you call or send email to your rep.. in DC this is what you get back .. I also posted to yahoo Thank you for contacting me with your suggestions regarding the war on drugs. I recognize the time and effort that you are dedicating to actively participate in the democratic process, and I appreciate that you and other concerned citizens have provided me the benefit of your comments on this matter.

    Illegal drug abuse is a threat to the fabric of our nation, causing more than 30,000 deaths and billions of dollars in economic losses each year. Efforts to stem the flow of illicit drugs and educate our citizens about the dangers of these substances should be a priority for policymakers nationwide.

    Our national drug control strategy must also focus on reducing the growing problem of counterfeit, misbranded, and adulterated substances in the medical and commercial supply chains. Many illegitimate outlets are marketing contaminated or knock-off prescription drugs, while others attempt to dodge existing laws by selling synthetic versions of illegal narcotics, such as heroin and cocaine. Unfortunately, these substances can have tragic effects—often causing serious injury or death. Members of the Senate must continue working to keep children and consumers safe by ensuring that existing laws and agencies provide the oversight necessary to protect consumers from the purveyors of these dangerous drugs.

    Furthermore, as you know, several states have legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes. I support the Supreme Court’s 2001 decision ruling that the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is not a defense under federal law, but we should always have an open dialogue on social issues, even when they are issues on which we may disagree.

    I am always appreciative when Texans take the time to reach out and share their concerns. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.



    United States Senator

    517 Hart Senate Office Building

    Washington, DC 20510

    Tel: (202) 224-2934

  16. @Raven:
    March 10, 2015 at 10:44 pm
    “Those who have emailed their senators; Report!”
    – – –

    Here’s what I’ve done…

    – – – FEDERAL BILLS:
    Emailed my senators Tuesday
    asking for their support of The CARERS Act.

    Also, emailed my Congress-Critters,
    for their support of…

    HR 1013 The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act
    HB 525 Exclude Hemp From The CSA
    HR 667 The Veterans Equal Access Act

    – – – STATE BILLS:
    And emailed my state reps, for their support of Statewide Decrim:
    (One of which, is the author of the bill! 🙂 ).

  17. I’ve taken action and posted this page URL on every major MMJ forum I can find. SPREAD THE LINK FAR AND WIDE!

  18. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., takes questions Monday, July 1, 2013, from about 40 Owensboro Tea Party members in Owensboro, Ky.
    Ahead of his Thursday visit to Nevada, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., reiterated his personal opposition to marijuana use. Pro-pot activists say Paul is spreading misinformation about the drug.
    “I personally think that marijuana use is not healthy,” Paul told the Las Vegas Sun in an interview published Wednesday. “People that use it chronically have a loss of IQ and a loss of ambition, but at the same time states have the right to make these decisions.”
    Marijuana activists tell U.S. News that Paul’s claims about ambition, health and IQ are wrong.
    “It’s unfortunate, but Senator Paul is basing his opinion about marijuana on “Reefer Madness”-fueled fear-mongering instead of sound science,” said Kris Hermes, a spokesman for Americans for Safe Access, a group that lobbies in favor of medical marijuana. “Contrary to Senator Paul’s unscientific assessment… there are more than 200 peer-reviewed studies that clearly show marijuana’s medical efficacy.”
    [POLL: Marijuana Legalization Now Supported by Most Americans]
    Hermes speculated that “Paul and others’ lack of education is the primary cause of our federal marijuana policy, based more on emotion and moral indignation rather than public health and medical science.”
    NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre told U.S. News Paul’s approach to the issue is “either pandering, or some really smart coalition-building” in favor of drug policy reform.
    St. Pierre disagrees with Paul’s claim that marijuana is broadly harmful to health, pointing to a study published by the Annals of the American Thoracic Society in June by UCLA medical school professor Donald Tashkin. That study found light or moderate marijuana use isn’t associated with a higher risk for lung cancer.
    “Even with long-term heavy amounts [of marijuana] there is little effect on long-term cognitive functions,” St. Pierre added
    “It was unfortunate, because Mr. Rand on the one hand is very critical of the drug war, but he wants to buffer his support by declaring, ‘I don’t smoke marijuana, I don’t want my son to smoke marijuana, I don’t want my dog to smoke marijuana,'” St. Pierre said. “He’s carving out this fascinating position here.”
    Mason Tvert, communications director of the Marijuana Policy Project, told U.S. News Paul likely based his IQ claim “on a study that has been thoroughly debunked based on flawed methodology.” That study’s findings, published in July 2012 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, were disputed by scientists who said the findings could be explained entirely by socioeconomic factors.
    “As for loss of ambition, he himself used marijuana,” Tvert claimed. A 2010 article in GQ magazine alleged Paul used pot while a student at Baylor University. “Every objective study on marijuana has concluded that it is far less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and to society,” he said. “Marijuana is far less toxic and less addictive than alcohol, and unlike alcohol, it does not contribute to violent and reckless behavior.”
    This isn’t the first time Paul, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, has tried to please both sides of the drug policy debate. Highlighting the perceived sloth and listlessness of heavy marijuana users seems to have become a key talking point for the senator
    “I don’t really believe in prison sentences for these minor, non-violent drug offenses,” Paul said in a June 4 discussion with the Hoover Institution, “but I’m not willing to go all the way to say it is a good idea either. I think people who use marijuana all the time lose IQ points, I think they lose their drive to show up for work.”
    During an April 10 event at Howard University, Paul said, “I think that if you use it too much you will lose IQ points, I think if you use it too much you won’t show up for class, I think you’ll eat too many Doritos.” He added: “I will do everything I can to keep non-violent criminals out of jail.”
    In May, Paul told the Washington Post, “I’m not advocating everyone go out and run around with no clothes on and smoke pot. … I’m not a libertarian. I’m a libertarian Republican. I’m a constitutional conservative.”
    Paul is often thought of as one of the most marijuana-friendly politicians, but his approach to advocating drug policy reform is notably more nuanced than the fiery denunciation of drug prohibition that was a libertarian crowd-pleaser during the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns of his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

    So my question is what is his objective

  19. The act of purging or cleansing like an obsessive compulsive would do in a ritual,the Orwellian “drug free society’ idealism, that has manifested itself into a huge monster.Near life sentences,destroyed reputations ,destroyed careers.Swat teams doing raids,maiming animals and children.Property seizures over an herb less toxic to the body than baby aspirin.THATS INSANITY.” – Dave Evans

    Let’s examine the language of Cannabis prohibition/Drug War?

    Positive drug test = “Dirty”

    Negative drug test = “Clean”

    The very concepts of “Clean’ and “Sober” reveal the continuing legacy of Puritan religious concepts based on The Wholly Babble.

    The relevant words in any rational (science based) society should refer to Health, Wellness and Safety…but… that would only concern a society less obsessed with “clean” and “dirty”?

  20. What does the carers act do about the FDA…how does it deal with them…without FDA approvel it not consided a medicine.. the FDA couble be the next DEA when it come to cannabis medicine.. someone need to put in an ear mark or add stipulations regarding the FDA and thier involvement with cannabis..despensaries..and the patients that can legally grow..buy..and medicate..

  21. . Report to say I have emaild my repected senators (

    NY)..got a letter back too..stating that the compassionate care act in my state is Under Review by the SENATE COMMITTEE of FINANCE. Really? Financally we are broke as hell in the us..it isnt hard to seed hemp and cannabis will make the good ol USA some cash..just do a dam flat tax across the board statewide. And legalize it. For recreational and medical use.. example flat tax of lets say 15-20% by each state..each state gives lets say 25% of that tax of 15-20% to the feds…the state get taxes and so does uncle sam..money for roads, schools, parks, roads..ect.. this is just an example people..im not a pro when it comes to taxes..

  22. 1. I want to mention that prostitution is federally legal yet you don’t see agents targeting those places in Nevada.

    2. If people are worried about their children becoming influenced my marijuana then why do alcohol commercials and advertisements exist and look so desirable; I know when I was underage I would feel tempted to drink under age when ever those refreshing looking commercials would come on. Also, I think nicotine might be the true gateway drug because first I smoked cigarettes, then I tried alcohol and after that I tried pot.

    3. I know the wild grown cannabis was eradicated before the age of environmental protection and I’ve been curious if do so might have interrupted the natural cycle of inner dependence. Maybe certain species depended on those plants?

  23. CARERS ACT is the wrong way to go
    SORRY FOLKS… this is BAD for America
    Makes CBD a prescription drug, and if you dont see why this is bad you are asleep.

    More People will go to jail because THC is now a schedule 1 and CBD is a schedule 2 and anyone growing the plant with ANY CBD in it has violated TWO SCHEDULES not just one…NORML you really are pushing a very destructive bill…

    [Editor’s note: Hey, Mr. Jaded-Beyond-Belief…for the first time in nearly 40 years the US Senate has a pro-cannabis law reform bill before it–imperfect as ALL legislation is–and you attack NORML (and all of the drug policy reform groups) for encouraging citizens to support it?

    What should cannabis consumers and activists do when a pro-reform bill like this is introduced? Ask their Senators NOT to support the legislation…therein supporting the status quo of unfettered cannabis prohibition at the federal level?

    There is nothing stopping you from contacting your Senators and asking them to support passage of the bill, while at the same time informing them of your concerns.

    Drug policy reforms groups would be malfeasant if they didn’t broadcast widely newly introduced cannabis law reform bills at the federal to a wanting nation for these long needed–and always imperfect–changes of law and custom.]

  24. @jerome this Bill does not speak directly to the ADA. But if it’s passed and progress continues certainly it will have an effect upon the ADA at some point.

    ALB15309 S.L.C



    To extend the principle of federalism to State drug policy, provide access
    to medical marijuana, and enable research into the medicinal properties
    of marijuana.


    [B]A BILL[/B]
    To extend the principle of federalism to State drug policy,
    provide access to medical marijuana, and enable research
    into the medicinal properties of marijuana.

    1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-
    2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
    4 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Compassionate Access,
    5 Research Expansion, and Respect States Act of 2015’’ or
    6 the ‘‘CARERS Act of 2015’’.
    8 Section 708 of the Controlled Substances Act (21
    9 U.S.C. 903) is amended

    1 (1) by striking ‘‘No provision’’ and inserting
    2 the following:
    3 ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subsection
    4 (b), no provision’’; and
    5 (2) by adding at the end the following:
    6 ‘‘(b) COMPLIANCE WITH STATE LAW.—Notwith-
    7 standing any other provision of law, the provisions of this
    8 title relating to marihuana shall not apply to any person
    9 acting in compliance with State law relating to the produc-
    10 tion, possession, distribution, dispensation, administra-
    11 tion, laboratory testing, or delivery of medical mari-
    12 huana.’’.
    14 (a) REMOVAL FROM SCHEDULE I.—Schedule I, as
    15 set forth in section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances
    16 Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)), is amended in subsection (c)—
    17 (1) by striking paragraph (10); and
    18 (2) by redesignating paragraphs (11) through
    19 (28) as paragraphs (10) through (27), respectively.
    20 (b) LISTING IN SCHEDULE II.—Schedule II, as set
    21 forth in section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act
    22 (21 U.S.C. 812(c)), is amended by adding at the end the
    23 following:
    24 ‘‘(d) Unless specifically excepted or unless listed in
    25 another schedule, any material, compound, mixture, or

    1 preparation, which contains any quantity of marihuana,
    2 including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers.’’.
    4 MARIHUANA.[/B]
    5 Section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21
    6 U.S.C. 802) is amended—
    7 (1) in paragraph (16)—
    8 (A) by striking ‘‘or cake, or the sterilized’’
    9 and inserting ‘‘cake, the sterilized’’; and
    10 (B) by adding ‘‘, or cannabidiol’’ before
    11 the period at the end; and
    12 (2) by adding at the end the following:
    13 ‘‘(57) The term ‘cannabidiol’ means the sub-
    14 stance cannabidiol, as derived from marihuana or
    15 the synthetic formulation, that contains not greater
    16 than 0.3 percent delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on a
    17 dry weight basis.’’.
    19 Section 201 of the Controlled Substances Act (21
    20 U.S.C. 811) is amended by adding at the end the fol-
    21 lowing:
    22 ‘‘(j) CANNABIDIOL DETERMINATION.—If a person
    23 grows or processes Cannabis sativa L. for purposes of
    24 making cannabidiol in accordance with State law, the Can-
    25 nabis sativa L. shall be deemed to meet the concentration

    1 limitation under section 102(57), unless the Attorney Gen-
    2 eral determines that the State law is not reasonably cal-
    3 culated to comply with section 102(57).’’.
    [B]4 SEC. 6. BANKING.[/B]
    5 (a) DEFINITIONS.—In this section—
    6 (1) the term ‘‘depository institution’’ means—
    7 (A) a depository institution as defined in
    8 section 3(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance
    9 Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(c));
    10 (B) a Federal credit union as defined in
    11 section 101 of the Federal Credit Union Act
    12 (12 U.S.C. 1752); or
    13 (C) a State credit union as defined in sec-
    14 tion 101 of the Federal Credit Union Act (12
    15 U.S.C. 1752);
    16 (2) the term ‘‘Federal banking regulator’’
    17 means each of the Board of Governors of the Fed-
    18 eral Reserve System, the Bureau of Consumer Fi-
    19 nancial Protection, the Federal Deposit Insurance
    20 Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the
    21 Currency, the National Credit Union Administra-
    22 tion, or any Federal agency or department that reg-
    23 ulates banking or financial services, as determined
    24 by the Secretary of the Treasury;

    1 (3) the term ‘‘financial service’’ means a finan-
    2 cial product or service as defined in section 1002 of
    3 the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer
    4 Protection Act (12 U.S.C. 5481);
    5 (4) the term ‘‘manufacturer’’ means a person
    6 who manufactures, compounds, converts, processes,
    7 prepares, or packages marijuana or marijuana prod-
    8 ucts;
    9 (5) the term ‘‘marijuana-related legitimate busi-
    10 ness’’ means a manufacturer, producer, or any per-
    11 son that—
    12 (A) participates in any business or orga-
    13 nized activity that involves handling marijuana
    14 or marijuana products, including selling, trans-
    15 porting, displaying, dispensing, or distributing
    16 marijuana or marijuana products; and
    17 (B) engages in such activity pursuant to a
    18 law established by a State or a unite of local
    19 government;
    20 (6) the term ‘‘marijuana’’ has the meaning
    21 given the term ‘‘marihuana’’ in section 102 of the
    22 Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802), as
    23 amended by this Act;
    24 (7) the term ‘‘marijuana product’’ means any
    25 article that contains marijuana, including an article

    1 that is a concentrate, an edible, a tincture, a mari-
    2 juana-infused product, or a topical;
    3 (8) the term ‘‘producer’’ means a person who
    4 plants, cultivates, harvests, or in any way facilitates
    5 the natural growth of marijuana; and
    6 (9) the term ‘‘State’’ means each of the several
    7 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and
    8 any territory or possession of the United States.
    10 TIONS.—A Federal banking regulator may not—
    11 (1) terminate or limit the deposit insurance of
    12 a depository institution under the Federal Deposit
    13 Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1811 et seq.) or the Fed-
    14 eral Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.) sole-
    15 ly because the depository institution provides or has
    16 provided financial services to a marijuana-related le-
    17 gitimate business;
    18 (2) prohibit, penalize, or otherwise discourage a
    19 depository institution from providing financial serv-
    20 ices to a marijuana-related legitimate business;
    21 (3) recommend, incentivize, or encourage a de-
    22 pository institution not to offer financial services to
    23 an individual, or to downgrade or cancel the finan-
    24 cial services offered to an individual solely because—

    1 (A) the individual is a manufacturer or
    2 producer of marijuana;
    3 (B) the individual is the owner or operator
    4 of a marijuana-related legitimate business;
    5 (C) the individual later becomes an owner
    6 or operator of a marijuana-related legitimate
    7 business; or
    8 (D) the depository institution was not
    9 aware that the individual is the owner or oper-
    10 ator of a marijuana-related legitimate business;
    11 or
    12 (4) take any adverse or corrective supervisory
    13 action on a loan to an owner or operator of—
    14 (A) a marijuana-related legitimate business
    15 solely because the owner or operator is a mari-
    16 juana-related business; or
    17 (B) real estate or equipment that is leased
    18 to a marijuana-related legitimate business solely
    19 because the owner or operator of the real estate
    20 or equipment leased the real estate or equip-
    21 ment to a marijuana-related business.
    24 pository institution that provides financial services
    25 to a marijuana-related legitimate business, or the of-

    1 ficers, directors, and employees of that business,
    2 shall be immune from Federal criminal prosecution
    3 or investigation for providing those services.
    4 (2) FEDERAL CRIMINAL LAW.—A depository in-
    5 stitution that provides financial services to a mari-
    6 juana-related legitimate business shall not be subject
    7 to a criminal penalty under any Federal law solely
    8 for providing those services or for further investing
    9 any income derived from such services.
    10 (3) FORFEITURE.—A depository institution
    11 that has a legal interest in the collateral for a loan
    12 made to an owner or operator of a marijuana-related
    13 legitimate business, or to an owner or operator of
    14 real estate or equipment that is leased to a mari-
    15 juana-related legitimate business, shall not be sub-
    16 ject to criminal, civil, or administrative forfeiture of
    17 that legal interest pursuant to any Federal law for
    18 providing such loan.
    20 REPORTS.—Section 5318(g) of title 31, United States
    21 Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
    23 LEGITIMATE BUSINESSES.—If a financial institution
    24 or any director, officer, employee, or agent of a fi-
    25 nancial institution reports a suspicious transaction

    1 pursuant to this subsection, and the reason for the
    2 report relates to a marijuana-related business, the
    3 Secretary shall require that such report complies
    4 with the requirements of the guidance issued by the
    5 Financial Crimes Enforcement Network titled ‘BSA
    6 Expectations Regarding Marijuana-Related Busi-
    7 nesses’ (FIN–2014–G001; published on February
    8 14, 2014).’’.
    9 (e) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this sec-
    10 tion requires a depository institution to provide financial
    11 services to a marijuana-related legitimate business.
    12 [b]SEC. 7. RESEARCH.[/b]
    13 (a) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 180 days after the
    14 date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary for Health
    15 and Human Services shall terminate the Public Health
    16 Service interdisciplinary review process described in the
    17 guidance entitled ‘‘Guidance on Procedures for the Provi-
    18 sion of Marijuana for Medical Research’’ (issued on May
    19 21, 1999).
    21 later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act,
    22 the Attorney General, acting through the Drug Enforce-
    23 ment Administration, shall issue not less than 3 licenses
    24 under section 303 of the Controlled Substances Act (21
    25 U.S.C. 823) to manufacture marijuana and marijuana-de-

    1 rivatives for research approved by the Food and Drug Ad-
    2 ministration.
    8 Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Sec-
    9 retary of Veterans Affairs shall authorize physicians and
    10 other health care providers employed by the Department
    11 of Veterans Affairs to—
    12 (1) provide recommendations and opinions to
    13 veterans who are residents of States with State
    14 marijuana programs regarding the participation of
    15 veterans in such State marijuana programs; and
    16 (2) complete forms reflecting such recommenda-
    17 tions and opinions.

  25. It is my opinion there is no such thing as “medical marijuanah”. No other plant or herbal remedy source for pharmaceuticals is distributed in a raw plant form, except at places such as GNC. Cannabis should be a legalized First Class Schedule #1 recreational drug if legalized at all. There is no such thing as fake gambling or a fake gun. States are allowed to create democratic policies per voter opinion. I will not smoke fake ganga.

  26. If more cannabis consumers were active voters, the truth of personal experience would have better representation over the ignorant and intolerant.

  27. All this debate is wonderful. But just remember what is going on behind the seen. The prohibionist corpration are scrambling to turn media attension with horror stories of dead puppies and stoned rabbits. In the mean time they are pumping money into the pockets of politics.

  28. @joe hemp

    You are completely MISINFORMED about things becoming a a “prescription”. Where are you getting this incorrect information? This is a good bill and very simply introduces the “concept of federalism” which means that the federal government will no longer be involved with the state MMJ a programs.

    As a very long time donor to NORML, I would like to see the historical Senate bill be at the very top of the blog postings and a headline hyperlink for people to contact their senators. This is common sense for a lobby group that’s been fighting for over 45 years to make progress. Also an explanation of the law is in order, people need to know the “concept of federalism” means that the federal government will no longer be involved with the states affairs in regards to medical marijuana. We all like to read great poll numbers, but the Senate Bill is a good one and you should make it a constant headline until it passes or dies. – See more at: http://blog.norml.org/2015/03/11/poll-more-than-six-in-ten-connecticut-voters-say-legalize-marijuana/comment-page-1/#comment-2992273

  29. Joe Der,

    This law removes CBD from the Controlled Substance Act, it doesn’t “reschedule” it. CBD was added to the CSA just to punish medical marijuana users.

    As to this idea we need federalism in order to legalize marijuana or medical marijuana is crazy. The Federal Government does indeed need to lead with national medical marijuana! Perhaps States have the right to ignore non-medical marijuana use, but they should be compelled to recognize medical marijuana!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Then, write your US representatives to support House Bill 1013 which remove Cannabis from the CSA “Title 21 sub chapter one” It’s really the best way to go.

  31. [b]David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants[/b]
    by Malcom Gladwell

    The most famous photograph in the history of the American civil rights movement was taken on May 3, 1963, by Bill Hudson, a photographer for the Associated Press. Hudson was in Birmingham, Alabama, where Martin Luther King Jr.’s activists had taken on the city’s racist public safety commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor. The photo was of a teenage boy being attacked by a police dog. Even to this day, it has not lost its power to shock.


    Wyatt Walker was a Baptist minister from Massachusetts. He joined up with Martin Luther King in 1960. He was King’s “nuts and bolts” man, his organizer and fixer. He was a mischief maker—slender, elegant, and intellectual, with a pencil-thin mustache and a droll sense of humor. …

    The plan Walker devised for Birmingham was called Project C—for confrontation. The staging ground was the city’s venerable 16th Street Baptist Church, next to Kelly Ingram Park, and a few short blocks from downtown Birmingham. Project C had three acts, each designed to be bigger and more provocative than the last. It began with a series of sit-ins at local businesses. That was to draw media attention to the problem of segregation in Birmingham. At night, Shuttlesworth and King would lead mass meetings for the local black community to keep morale high. The second stage was a boycott of downtown businesses, to put financial pressure on the white business community to reconsider their practices toward their black customers. (In department stores, for example, blacks could not use the washrooms or the changing rooms, for fear that a surface or an item of clothing once touched by a black person would then touch a white person.) Act three was a series of mass marches to back up the boycott and fill up the jails—because once Connor ran out of cells he could no longer make the civil rights problem go away simply by arresting the protesters. He would have to deal with them directly.

    Project C was a high-stakes operation. For it to work, Connor had to fight back. As King put it, Commissioner of Public Safety Connor had to be induced to “tip his hand”—thereby revealing his ugly side to the world. But there was no guarantee that he would do that. King and Walker had just come from running their long campaign in Albany, Georgia, and they had failed there because the Albany police chief, Laurie Pritchett, had refused to take the bait. He told his police officers not to use violence or excessive force. He was friendly and polite. His views on civil rights may have been unevolved, but he treated King with respect. The Northern press came to Albany to cover the confrontation between white and black, and found—to their surprise—they quite liked Pritchett. When King was finally thrown in jail, a mysterious well-dressed man—sent, legend had it, by Pritchett himself—came the next day and bailed him out. How can you be a martyr if you get bailed out of jail the instant you get there?

    Walker realized that a setback in Birmingham so soon after the Albany debacle would be disastrous. In those years, the evening news on television was watched in an overwhelming number of American households, and Walker wanted desperately to have Project C front and center on American television screens every night. But he knew that if the campaign was perceived to be faltering, the news media could lose interest and go elsewhere.
    Once started, however, they could not fall back.…In no case, said Walker, could the Birmingham campaign be smaller than Albany. That meant they must be prepared to put upwards of a thousand people in jail at one time, maybe more.”

    Several weeks in, Walker saw his campaign begin to lose that precious momentum. Many blacks in Birmingham were worried—justifiably—that if they were seen with King, they would be fired by their white bosses. In April, one of King’s aides spoke before seven hundred people at a church service and could persuade only nine of them to march with him. The next day, Andrew Young—another of King’s men—tried again, and this time found only seven volunteers. The local conservative black paper called Project C “wasteful and worthless.” The reporters and photographers assembled there to record the spectacle of black-on-white confrontation were getting restless. Connor made the occasional arrest but mostly just sat and watched. Walker was in constant contact with King as King commuted back and forth between Birmingham and his home base in Atlanta. “Wyatt,” King told him for the hundredth time, “you’ve got to find some way to make Bull Connor tip his hand.” Walker shook his head. “Mr. Leader, I haven’t found the key yet, but I’m going to find it.”

    The breakthrough came on Palm Sunday. Walker had twenty-two protesters ready to go. The march would be led by King’s brother, Alfred Daniel, known as A.D. “Our mass meeting was slow getting together,” Walker recalled. “We were supposed to march at something like two-thirty, and we didn’t march until about four. In that time, people, being aware of the demonstration, collected out on the streets. By the time they got ready to march, there were a thousand people up and down this three-block area, lining up all along the sides as spectators, watching.”
    The next day, Walker opened the newspapers to read the media’s account of what had happened, and to his surprise he discovered the reporters had gotten it all wrong. The papers said eleven hundred demonstrators had marched in Birmingham. “I called Dr. King and said, ‘Dr. King, I’ve got it!’” Walker recalled. “‘I can’t tell you on the phone, but I’ve got it!’ So what we did each day was we dragged out our meetings until people got home from work late in the afternoon. They would form out on the side and it would look like a thousand folks. We weren’t marching but twelve, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen. But the papers were reporting fourteen hundred.”

    It was a situation straight out of one of the most famous of all trickster tales—the story of Terrapin, a lowly turtle who finds himself in a race with Deer. He hides just by the finish line and places his relatives up and down the course, at strategic intervals, to make it seem like he is running the whole race. Then at the finish line, he emerges just ahead of Deer to claim victory. Deer is completely fooled, since, as Terrapin knows, to Deer, all turtles “am so much like annurrer you can’t tell one from turrer.”
    Commissioner of Public Safety Connor was an arrogant man who liked to swagger around Birmingham saying, “Down here we make our own law.” He sat drinking his bourbon every morning at the Molton Hotel, loudly predicting that King would “run out of niggers.” Now he looked out the window and saw Terrapin ahead of him at every turn. He was in shock. Those imaginary one thousand protesters were a provocation. “Bull Connor had something in his mind about not letting these niggers get to city hall,” Walker said. “I prayed that he’d keep trying to stop us.…Birmingham would have been lost if Bull had let us go down to the city hall and pray. If he had let us do that and stepped aside, what else would be new? There would be no movement, no publicity.” Please, Brer Connor, please. Whatever you do, don’t throw me in the briar patch. And of course that’s just what Connor did.

    A month into the protest, Walker and King stepped up the pressure. One of the Birmingham team, James Bevel, had been working with local schoolchildren, instructing them in the principles of nonviolent resistance. Bevel was a Pied Piper: a tall, bald, hypnotic speaker who wore a yarmulke and bib overalls and claimed to hear voices. (McWhorter calls him a “militant out of Dr. Seuss.”) On the last Monday in April, he dropped off leaflets at all of the black high schools around the county: “Come to 16th Street Baptist Church at noon on Thursday. Don’t ask permission.” The city’s most popular black disc jockey—Shelley “the Playboy” Stewart—sent out the same message to his young listeners: “Kids, there’s gonna be a party at the park.”8 The FBI got wind of the plan and told Bull Connor, who announced that any child who skipped school would be expelled. It made no difference. The kids came in droves. Walker called the day the children arrived “D Day.”
    At one o’clock, the doors to the church opened, and King’s lieutenants began sending the children out. They held signs saying “Freedom” or “Die to Make This Land My Home.” They sang “We Shall Overcome” and “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.” Outside the church, Connor’s police officers waited. The children dropped to their knees and prayed, then filed into the open doors of the paddy wagons. Then another dozen came out. Then another dozen, and another, and another—until Connor’s men had begun to get an inkling that the stakes had been raised again.
    A police officer spotted Fred Shuttlesworth. “Hey, Fred, how many more have you got?”

    “At least a thousand more,” he replied.

    “God A’mighty,” the officer said.

    By the end of the day, more than six hundred children were in jail.

    The next day—Friday—was “Double-D Day.” This time fifteen hundred schoolchildren skipped school to come down to 16th Street Baptist. At one o’clock, they began filing out of the church. The streets surrounding Kelly Ingram Park were barricaded by police and firefighters. There was no mystery about why the firefighters had been called in. They had high-pressure hoses on their fire trucks, and “water cannons,” as they were also known, had been a staple of crowd control since the 1930s in the early days of Nazi Germany. Walker knew that if the demonstrations grew so large that they overwhelmed the Birmingham police, Connor would be sorely tempted to turn on the hoses. He wanted Connor to turn on the hoses. “It was hot in Birmingham,” he explained. “I told [Bevel] to let the pep rally go on a while and let these firemen sit out there and bake in the sun until their tempers were like hair triggers.”

    And the dogs? Connor had been itching to use the city’s K-9 Corps. Earlier that spring, in a speech, Connor had vowed to combat the civil right protesters with one hundred German shepherd police dogs. “I want ’em to see the dogs work,” Connor growled, as things began to get out of control in Kelly Ingram Park—and nothing made Walker happier than that. He had children marching in the streets, and now Connor wanted to let German shepherds loose on them? Everyone in King’s camp knew what it would look like if someone published a photograph of a police dog lunging at a child.
    Connor stood watch as the children came closer. “Do not cross,” he said. “If you come any further, we will turn the fire hoses on you.” Connor’s jails were full. He couldn’t arrest anyone else, because he had nowhere to put them. The children kept coming. The firemen were hesitant. They were not used to controlling crowds. Connor turned to the fire chief: “Turn ’em on, or go home.” The firemen turned on their “monitor guns,” valves that turned the spray of their hoses into a high-pressure torrent. The children clung to one another and were sent sprawling backwards. The force of the water ripped some of the marchers’ shirts from their bodies and flung others against walls and doorways.

    Back at the church, Walker began deploying waves of children to the other end of the park to open another front. Connor had no more fire trucks. But he was determined that none of the marchers cross over into “white” Birmingham. “Bring the dogs,” Connor ordered, calling in eight K-9 units. “Why did you bring old Tiger out?” Connor shouted at one of his police officers. “Why didn’t you bring a meaner dog—this one is not the vicious one!” The children came closer. A German shepherd lunged at a boy. He leaned in, arms limp, as if to say, “Take me, here I am.” On Saturday, the picture ran on the front page of every newspaper around the country.


    Does Wyatt Walker’s behavior make you uncomfortable? James Forman, who was a key figure in the civil rights movement in those years, was with Walker when Connor first deployed the K-9 units. Forman says that Walker started jumping with joy. “We’ve got a movement. We’ve got a movement. We had some police brutality.” Forman was stunned. Walker was as aware as any of them just how dangerous Birmingham could be. He had been in the room when King gave everyone a mock eulogy. How could he be jumping up and down at the sight of protesters being attacked by police dogs?

    After D Day, King and Walker heard it from all sides. The judge processing the arrested marchers said that the people who “misled those kids” into marching “ought to be put under the jail.” On the floor of Congress, one of Alabama’s congressmen called the use of children “shameful.” The mayor of Birmingham denounced the “irresponsible and unthinking agitators” who were using children as “tools.” Malcolm X—the black activist who was in every way more radical than King—said “real men don’t put their children on the firing line.” The New York Times editorialized that King was engaged in “perilous ventures in brinkmanship” and Time scolded him for using children as “shock troops.” The U.S. attorney general, Robert F. Kennedy, warned that “schoolchildren participating in street demonstrations is a dangerous business,” and said, “An injured, maimed or dead child is a price that none of us can afford to pay.”

    On the Friday night, after the second day of children’s protests, King spoke at 16th Street Baptist Church to the parents of those who had been arrested that day and the day before. They knew full well the dangers and humiliations of being a black person in Birmingham. Jesus said He’d go as far as Memphis. Can you imagine how they felt with their children at that moment languishing in Bull Connor’s jails? King stood up and tried to make light of the situation: “Not only did they stand up in the water, they went under the water!” he said. “And dogs? Well, I’ll tell you. When I was growing up, I was dog bitten…for nothing. So I don’t mind being bitten by a dog for standing up for freedom!”

    Whether or not any of the parents were buying this is unclear. King plunged on: “Your daughters and sons are in jail.…Don’t worry about them.…They are suffering for what they believe, and they are suffering to make this nation a better nation.” Don’t worry about them? Taylor Branch writes that there were rumors—“true and false”—about “rats, beatings, concrete beds, overflowing latrines, jailhouse assaults, and crude examinations for venereal disease.” Seventy-five and eighty children were packed into cells intended for eight. Some had been bused out to the state fairground and held without food and water in stockades in the pouring rain. King’s response? “Jail helps you to rise above the miasma of everyday life,” he said blithely. “If they want some books, we will get them. I catch up on my reading every time I go to jail.”

    Walker and King were trying to set up that picture—the German shepherd lunging at the boy. But to get it, they had to play a complex and duplicitous game. To Bull Connor, they pretended that they had a hundred times more supporters than they did. To the press, they pretended that they were shocked at the way Connor let his dogs loose on their protesters—while at the same time, they were jumping for joy behind closed doors. And to the parents whose children they were using as cannon fodder, they pretended that Bull Connor’s prisons were a good place for their children to catch up on their reading.

    But we shouldn’t be shocked by this. What other options did Walker and King have? In the traditional fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, told to every Western schoolchild, the Tortoise beats the Hare through sheer persistence and effort. Slow and steady wins the race. That’s an appropriate and powerful lesson—but only in a world where the Tortoise and the Hare are playing by the same rules, and where everyone’s effort is rewarded. In a world that isn’t fair—and no one would have called Birmingham in 1963 fair—the Terrapin has to place his relatives at strategic points along the racecourse. The trickster is not a trickster by nature. He is a trickster by necessity. In the next great civil rights showdown in Selma, Alabama, two years later, a photographer from Life magazine put down his camera in order to come to the aid of children being roughed up by police officers. Afterward, King reprimanded him: “The world doesn’t know this happened, because you didn’t photograph it. I’m not being cold-blooded about it, but it is so much more important for you to take a picture of us getting beaten up than for you to be another person joining in the fray.” He needed the picture. In response to the complaints over the use of children, Fred Shuttlesworth said it best: “We got to use what we got.”

    “I still t’ink Ise de fas’est runner in de worl’,” the bewildered Deer complains after a race in which Terrapin has done something that would get him banished from every competition in the world. “Maybe you air,” Terrapin responds, “but I kin head ou off wid sense.”


    The boy in Bill Hudson’s famous photograph is Walter Gadsden. He was a sophomore at Parker High in Birmingham, six foot tall and fifteen years old. He wasn’t a marcher. He was a spectator. He came from a conservative black family that owned two newspapers in Birmingham and Atlanta that had been sharply critical of King. Gadsden had taken off school that afternoon to watch the spectacle unfolding around Kelly Ingram Park.

    The officer in the picture is Dick Middleton. He was a modest and reserved man. “The K-9 Corps,” McWhorter writes, “was known for attracting straight arrows who wanted none of the scams and payoffs that often came with a regular beat. Nor were the dog handlers known for being race ideologues.” The dog’s name is Leo.
    Now look at the faces of the black bystanders in the background. Shouldn’t they be surprised or horrified? They’re not. Next, look at the leash in Middleton’s hand. It’s taut, as if he’s trying to restrain Leo. And look at Gadsden’s left hand. He’s gripping Middleton on the forearm. Look at Gadsden’s left leg. He’s kicking Leo, isn’t he? Gadsden would say later that he had been raised around dogs and had been taught how to protect himself. “I automatically threw my knee up in front of the dog’s head,” he said. Gadsden wasn’t the martyr, passively leaning forward as if to say, “Take me, here I am.” He’s steadying himself, with a hand on Middleton, so he can deliver a sharper blow. The word around the movement, afterward, was that he’d broken Leo’s jaw. Hudson’s photograph is not at all what the world thought it was. It was a little bit of Brer Rabbit trickery.

    You got to use what you got.

    “Sure, people got bit by the dogs,” Walker said, looking back twenty years later. “I’d say at least two or three. But a picture is worth a thousand words, dahlin’.”11
    1 In William Nunnelley’s biography of Connor, titled Bull Connor, Nunnelley identifies the relevant section of the Birmingham city code as section 369, which prohibited serving “white and colored people” in the same room unless they were separated by a partition seven feet high with separate entrances.

    2 My mother, who is West Indian, was taught Anansi stories as a child and told them to my brothers and me when we were young. Anansi is a rascal, who is not above cheating and sacrificing his own children (of which he invariably has many) for his own ends. My mother is a proper Jamaican lady, but on the subject of Anansi she becomes the picture of mischief.

    3 In Black Culture and Black Consciousness: Afro-American Folk Thought from Slavery to Freedom, Lawrence Levine writes: “The rabbit, like the slaves who wove tales about him, was forced to make do with what he had. His small tail, his natural portion of intellect—these would have to suffice, and to make them do he resorted to any means at his disposal—means which may have made him morally tainted but which allowed him to survive and even to conquer.”

    4 The historian Taylor Branch writes of Walker: “Walker was a hotspur. As a New Jersey high school student in the 1940s, he had heard Paul Robeson say that if being for freedom and equality meant being a Red, then he was a Red. Walker promptly joined the Young Communist League. One of his high school papers was a five-year plan for a Soviet-type economy in the United States, and he dreamed of carrying out technically ingenious assassinations against leading segregationists.”

    5 Walker continued: “We were just going to give ourselves up to the mob and felt that would appease them. Let them beat us to death, I guess.”

    6 Pritchett actually came to Birmingham and warned Bull Connor about King and Walker. He wanted to teach Connor how to handle the civil rights tricksters. But Connor wasn’t inclined to listen. “I never will forget, when we entered his office,” Pritchett remembers, “his back was to us…some big executive chair, you know, and when he turned around, there was this little man—you know, in stature. But he had this boomin’ voice, and he was tellin’ me that they closed the course that day…said, ‘They can play golf, but we put concrete in the holes. They can’t get the ball in the holes.’ And this gave me some indication as to what type of man he was.”

    7 This was a running theme with Walker. One time in Birmingham, the city filed an injunction against the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which meant that Walker had to appear in court. The question was: If Walker was tied up in court, how would he run the campaign? Walker’s answer was to register with the court and then have someone else show up in his place every day thereafter. Why not? He said, “You know, all niggers look alike anyway.”

    8 Stewart was a huge figure in Birmingham. Every African-American teenager listened to his show. The second part of his message to his listeners was “Bring your toothbrushes, because lunch will be served.” “Toothbrushes” was code for “be dressed and prepared to spend a few nights in jail.”

    9 Forman writes: “It seemed very cold, cruel, and calculating to be happy about police brutality coming down on innocent people…no matter what purpose it served.”

    10 King thought long and hard before agreeing to use the children. He had to be talked into it by James Bevel. Their eventual conclusion was that if someone was old enough to belong to a church—to have made a decision of that importance to their life and soul—then they were old enough to fight for a cause of great importance to their life and soul. In the Baptist tradition, you could join a church once you were of school age. That meant that King approved of using children as young as six or seven against Bull Connor.

    11 Walker makes a similar claim about the famous photographs of protesters being hit by Connor’s water cannons. The people in the photographs, he says, were spectators like Gadsden, not demonstrators. And they had been standing outside 16th Street Baptist Church all afternoon—on a typically humid Birmingham spring day. They were hot. “They had gathered in the park, which is a shaded area. And the firemen had set up their hoses at two corners of the park, one on Fifth Street and one on Sixth Street. And the mood was like a Roman holiday; it was festive. There wasn’t anybody among the spectators who were angry, and they had waited so long, and it was beginning to get dark now. So, somebody heaved a brick because they knew that—in fact, they had been saying, ‘Turn the water hose on. Turn the water hose on.’ And Bull Connor, then somebody threw a brick, and he started turning them on, see. So they just danced and played in the hose spray. This famous picture of them holding hands, it was just a frolic of them trying to stand up [unintelligible] and some of them were getting knocked down by the hose. They’d get up and run back and it would slide them along the pavement. Then they began bringing the hose up from the other corner, and instead of Negroes [unintelligible] they ran to the hose. It was a, it was a holiday for them. And this went on for a couple of hours. It was a joke, really. All in good humor and good spirit. Not any vitriolic response on the part of even the Negro spectators, which to me, again, was an example of the changing spirit, you know. When Negroes once had been cowed in the presence of policemen and maybe water hoses, here they had complete disdain for them. Made a joke out of it.”

  32. very disappointed in president Obama for doing nothing on reclassifying weed even though he himself said that it is less harmful than alcohol. Lots of literature out there to support that as well as all the other medicinal benefits that weed has. what if his life was ruined for getting caught with something that is less harmful than alcohol? He does not have to worry about passing a piss test as DC is Legal.
    Folks that do not know the real reasons why weed is illegal should read the emporer wears no clothes by Jack Herer. Good reading on 420 magazine.com as well. Hey if weed was legal our pharmaceutical companies would lose billions, prison corporations of America would have to downsize. Police could actually focus on catching real criminals….

  33. I wonder which bill will pass first HR1013 and 1014 or the medical bill….surpises in store for all I think

  34. All the states with medicinal marijuana senators step up with the states who have interest in legalization. Is that so hard to do legislative branch. Hell yeah Phillip Morris special interest money , wait a minute 2016 Presidential nod at stake all that cigerette $$$$ up in smoke. I don’t think soooo!!!!! Wait 75 more years, stop hating how far is it to the West coast. Grab my keys cause we going to Weedily Hills Colorado!!!!!

  35. how long from the time it was voted legal does the senate have to write/complete the bill?

  36. @Joe Hemp, in rgards to “”More People will go to jail because THC is now a schedule 1 and CBD is a schedule 2 and anyone growing the plant with ANY CBD in it has violated TWO SCHEDULES not just one…NORML you really are pushing a very destructive bill…””

    I’m sorry, but you don’t know what you’re talking about:

    1. “Marihuana” is moved to SII and they go out of their way to mention “any material, compound, mixture, or preparation, which contains any quantity of marihuana, including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers”
    2. CBD is left to the states, but is also rescheduled and is given better protection under the law
    3. If you get caught with marijuana in a state where its illegal, you get charged with posession of marijuana, not multiple counts for posession of THC and CBD. Really it’s not correct, either, to “violating schedules”

    As the editor said, this bill, like all bills, is not perfect, but on the other hand, this bill is very comprehensive and were it to pass, it would help the country a great deal:

    1. It would allow both medical and recreational marijuana businesses full, legal access to banking services while providing the banks with solid legal footing to conduct said business. This is something both medical/recreational providers need desperately.
    2. It would resolve the IRS/tax issues that marijuana-related businesses face right now. Currently they can’t get deductions (Though I did read the IRS was doing refunds to a degree.. Not sure if it’s true or not)
    3. Due to rescheduling, all states would be able to offer smokeable marijuana to patients, unless prohibited by state law. Marijuana would also be allowed to move between states, further developing the medical marijuana industry on a national level.
    4. In my opinion, the second most important part of the bill (Just after rescheduling), is it allows research to be done much, much more easily for marijuana. This has been the biggest road block so far towards full legalization. The government says no usable research shows its safe or medically valid (There is plenty of research abroad, and even stateside, but nothing Congress will use or acknowledge much), but the reason no usable research exists here is because Congress has made it virtually impossible to do studies with potent marijuana. This is a catch-22, where they say there is no good research, but only because they have made it very difficult to do research in the first place. If the bill were to pass, dozens of reputable studies would spring up seemingly over night and no longer could Congress ignore what would eventually become dozens of stories proving Cannabis is very safe, with numerous profound medical uses and the potential to help millions of people. This will basically set the stage for the repeal of prohibition.

    Unfortunately, opposition is still deep in Congress (For the reasons I state in the next paragraph), and so I don’t expect this to pass.. But this bill should be a template for future bills to a more receptive Congress. Eventually the tides will change and Congress will come to their senses, for this is a battle they cannot win, and are already losing faster and faster each day.


    @Mark I., in regards to “”If more cannabis consumers were active voters, the truth of personal experience would have better representation over the ignorant and intolerant.””

    – If the younger generation (People ages 18 – 35) actively participated in voicing their concerns in a way politicians can understand, and most importantly, voted reliably, I believe marijuana prohibition would have ended in most of the country already. But the sad thing is, young voters, while much more progressive, rarely vote and thus the nation is led by an older, more conservative generation. This is really what bothers me when I read how America has 25% of the world’s prisoners, despite only 5% of the population, or how most of the country believes marijuana should be legalized, yet only 4 states (Hopefully 8+ after 2016) have lifted prohibition, or how most of the country wants a much higher minimum wage, yet the the majority of localities that have managed to get *any* increase at all have been by ballot measures, with Republican lawmakers blocking all other attempts. What this country truly needs is more participation from the younger generation who stands to inherit this country faster than they think.

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