Sep 122015
 September 12, 2015

congress medical marijuanaIn the early Spring of 2015, a historic federal medical marijuana bill was introduced into Congress. The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act of 2015 or the CARERS Act of 2015, was introduced in March of 2015. The bill was introduced by Senator Cory Booker, and as of today, carries 15 co-sponsors. Below is the summary of the bill, via Congress’ website:

Amends the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to provide that control and enforcement provisions of such Act relating to marijuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with state law relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, laboratory testing, or delivery of medical marijuana.

Transfers marijuana from schedule I to schedule II of the CSA.

Excludes “cannabidiol” from the definition of “marijuana” and defines it separately as the substance cannabidiol, as derived from marijuana or the synthetic formulation, that contains not greater than 0.3% delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on a dry weight basis. Deems marijuana that is grown or processed for purposes of making cannabidiol, in accordance with state law, to meet such concentration limitation unless the Attorney General determines that the state law is not reasonably calculated to comply with such definition.

Prohibits a federal banking regulator from: (1) terminating or limiting the deposit insurance of a depository institution solely because it provides or has provided financial services to a marijuana-related legitimate business; or (2) prohibiting, penalizing, or otherwise discouraging a depository institution from providing financial services to a marijuana-related legitimate business.

Prohibits a federal banking regulator from recommending, motivating, providing incentives, or encouraging a depository institution not to offer financial services to an individual, or to downgrade or cancel financial services offered to an individual, solely because: (1) the individual is a manufacturer of marijuana, (2) the individual is or later becomes an owner or operator of a marijuana-related legitimate business, or (3) the depository institution was not aware that the individual is the owner or operator of a marijuana-related legitimate business.

Prohibits a federal banking regulator from taking any adverse or corrective supervisory action on a loan to an owner or operator of: (1) a marijuana-related legitimate business soley because the owner or operator is such a business, or (2) real estate or equipment that is leased to a marijuana-related legitimate business solely because it is leased to such a business

Provides depository institutions that provide financial services to a marijuana-related legitimate business protection under federal law from federal criminal prosecution or investigation, criminal penalties, and forfeiture of legal interest in collateral solely for providing financial services to such a business.

Directs: (1) the Department of Health and Human Services to terminate the Public Health Service interdisciplinary review process described in the guidance entitled “Guidance on Procedures for the Provision of marijuana for Medical Research” (issued on May 21, 1999), and (2) the Drug Enforcement Administration to issue at least three licenses under CSA registration requirements to manufacture marijuana and marijuana-derivatives for research approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to authorize VA health care providers to provide veterans with recommendations and opinions regarding participation in state marijuana programs.

This piece of legislation would bring about a logical public policy change, and is one that is supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans. You will be hard pressed to find something that has the support of 16 federal senators and a majority of the American people, yet isn’t being voted on. This is obviously unacceptable. The Drug Policy Alliance has started a petition urging Senator Grassley to put the bill to a vote. Below is the language of the petition, which can be signed at this link here:

Demand a Hearing on Medical Marijuana

Sign the petition to Senator Grassley urging him to hold a hearing on the CARERS Act in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Petition to Senator Grassley:

I urge you to bring the CARERS Act, S.683, up for a hearing and vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee before the end of the year.

With twenty-three states and the District of Columbia legalizing and regulating marijuana for medicinal purposes and twelve states regulating CBD oils, and with over 80% of Americans in support of legal access to medical marijuana, it’s time for the federal government to let states set their own policies.

The American people deserve a debate and a vote on this important and timely legislation. Please bring S.683 up for a hearing and a vote today.

As of this blog post, the petition has been signed by 6,690 people.

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  21 Responses to “Demand A Federal Hearing On Medical Marijuana”

  1.  

    Thanks Johnny. The link you provided is to the bill itself while the link to sign the Drug Policy Alliance petition is: http://www.drugpolicy.org/action. One can find “Legalize Medical Marijuana Nationwide” in the center of the page. Click “take action” to sign the petition. Thanks again for the awesome blog.

  2.  

    For anyone who thinks I exaggerate to call it the Anti Marihuana Tyranny, please consider again the September 1988 ruling of Francis Young, then administrative law judge in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Maddeningly stubborn obstructionists, including Senator Chuck Grassley, have been blocking ANY federal change in the legal status of “marihuana” for FOUR DECADES+. After giving ample ‘due process’ and reviewing all available scientific evidence, DEA Judge Young found that seedless, female cannabis flowers are “far safer than many foods we commonly consume.” Young further said cannabis was “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man” (and woman). He strongly concluded that it would be “unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious” for DEA officials NOT to move “marihuana” to Schedule II in the Controlled Substances Act. That was TWENTY SEVEN F-IN YEARS AGO!!!!! How many MILLIONS of Americans have suffered and died without safe and legal access to medical cannabis in that time? How many MILLIONS more have been arrested, prosecuted and incarcerated for nonviolent marijuana offenses, all at taxpayer expense? How many BILLIONS of dollars have synthetic pharmaceutical companies ‘donated’ to federal lawmakers since President Richard Nixon signed the CSA in 1970? Please remember, four years later Nixon was forced to resign in disgrace.

    I thank Goddess for the rise of groups like Women Grow. It seems as if only the Women Grow Ladies can finally get so many states out from under the boot of the federal Anti Marihuana Tyranny. And it’s a very fitting development, since arrogant MEN have tried to demonize FEMALE cannabis flowers for nearly 80 years. Their Reefer Madness must be banished forever. One more DAY is, as you say, “obviously unacceptable.”

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      p.s. I regret the use of so many capital letters. The good people of The Weed Blog always get me fired up. I am so grateful to TWB for documenting daily the last days of this recurring American nightmare. “The harder they come, the harder they fall, one and all….” sang Mr. Jerry Garcia.

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      Maybe you should be complaining about how you can’t make your own Morphine but are forced to buy it from Pharma at “jacked up” rates

      Morphine production is safer than THC concentrates manufacturing wise.

      •  

        Opium poppies do grow in upstate NY, where I reside, but they require lots of patience and TLC. I support full legalization of at least opium and coca leaves, too, as a possible means to address the so-called “heroin crisis” dogging the whole Northeast. Our governments have foisted this fraudulent “drug war” on us for 100 years, starting with the 1914 Harrison Narcotics Act. It’s a fraud because the primary beneficiary, ALL ALONG, has been the synthetic pharmaceutical industry. Tell me when lawmakers will win this “war,” complete with its many thousands of federal, state and local agents deployed nationwide every month to spy on, raid, arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate Americans–all for the sake of 3 medicinal plants (cannabis, coca and opium poppy) or various products derived from them.

        Rather than “complaining,” as you say, I simply point to the concrete fact that in NY we are living under pure anti-drug tyranny. Federal, state and local governments have no right to stop us from growing ANY plants on our own private property. Not in a “land of the free.”

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      “He strongly concluded that it would be “unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious” for DEA officials NOT to move “marihuana” to Schedule II in the Controlled Substances Act.”…… schedule II? please cite where you find that….DEA Judge Young was smart enough to know schedule II is no more accurate than schedule I. And probably even know schedule II gives complete control to BIG PHARMA…please stop misleading people that Judge Young wanted schedule II.

      My memory was he said it was “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man” (and woman)” ….the schedule is for UNSAFE drugs…I remember him saying it is safe enough to be used with a doctors supervision but was not specific to schedule II as that would make no sense….

      The following findings are required for drugs to be placed in this schedule:[2]

      1. The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
      2. The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in
      treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with
      severe restrictions.
      3. Abuse of the drug or other substances may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

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        Please stop being such a curmudgeon, Kathleen Chippi, especially toward people who work as hard as you for the liberation of cannabis plants. You obviously did not read the 69-page decision of Francis L. Young, published on Sept. 6, 1988: “The administrative law judge recommends,” it said, “that the [DEA] Administrator conclude that the marijuana plant considered as a whole has a currently accepted medical use in the United States, that there is no lack of accepted safety for use of it under medical supervision and that it may lawfully be transferred from Schedule I to Schedule II. The judge recommends that the Administrator transfer marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II.” I personally believe the fraudulent word “marihuana” doesn’t belong in ANY Schedule of the federal Controlled Substances Act. Alcohol’s not there, nor is tobacco, two of the most dangerous, addictive legal products sold everywhere in America. If Mr. Young’s strong recommendation had been instituted rather than arrogantly ignored by the administration of President Ronald Reagan, the resulting explosion of medical research would’ve certainly led to the defeat of the Anti Marihuana Tyranny 20 years ago.

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          p.s. To read the report for yourself, please go to the website http://www.compassionatecareny.org. Click on the link “Physician support” and you’ll find it at the bottom of the page. Have a nice weekend!

          •  

            Thanks Lawrence. If Nixon had not shredded the Shafer Commission report on cannabis in 1970-71, then cannabis would have not been on schedule beyond 1971. The CSA is a set of rules and regs for the feds and we the people. In order for the feds to put ANY substance anywhere on schedule, the CSA says they have exactly 1 year with a one time only 6 month extension to prove to we the people that that substance meets ALL the requirements of that schedule. The Safer Commission did that research and found cannabis to be safe enough to not require scheduling, since only unsafe substances go on schedule. Nixon discarded it and the feds never met their CSA requirements to place it so cannabis is currently not lawfully on the CSA schedule.

  3.  

    Maybe I’m missing something, but the link above seems to go to the actual bill, not a petition. The Drug Policy Institute has a petition here: http://marijuana.action.drugpolicy.org/?ms=2A2_GrassleyCARERS#primary_form

  4.  

    Thanks Johnny. I see your link to the bill, but no link to the Drug Policy Alliance petition. Perhaps the link you wanted is from the DPA website: http://www.drugpolicy.org/action. Clicking on “Legalize Medical Marijuana” near the center of the page will lead to the petition signature site. Thanks again.

  5.  

    Links fixed! Thanks again!!

  6.  

    Everyone who cares about this issue should call the white house comment line at (202) 456-1111 and ask that the President get Marijuana removed from Schedule 1 immediately,
    Call every day and get everyone you know to call every day and enlist everyone they know to do the same until the President does it. With luck the effort will go viral. If enough people call it will be impossible for the President to fail to notice and almost impossible for him to fail to take action.

  7.  

    I use the Forrest Gump school of logic…Seems that if we really have a democracy that marijuana would be legal?

  8.  

    The Controlled Substances Act is Unconstitutional..stop it with your political correctness.

    Demand drug the whole of the federal CSA be tried in court
    Putting anyone in jail for unhealthy habits is straight Nazi

  9.  

    good

  10.  

    Dear Politician, Please take note

    NSAID drugs such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, etc, cause over 16,500 deaths every year in the
    U.S. These are in the majority part, an OTC medication.

    “the annual number of hospitalizations in the United States for serious gastrointestinal complications is estimated to be at least 103,000. At an estimated cost of $15,000 to $20,000 per hospitalization, the annual direct costs of such complications exceed $2 billion.”
    “It has been estimated conservatively that 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur among patients with
    rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis every year in the United States”

    [Wolfe et al. Gastrointestinal toxicity of nonsteroidal
    anti-inflammatory drugs. N Engl J Med. 1999. Review.]
    For some Odd reason, that you say the dangers of cannabis are unknown to science
    (only in the U S academia), Please be advised that;
    THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN WITH CANNIBIS PRODUCTS. (NO LD 50)
    A normal mind can only ponder the “WTF” conclusion, but notice I said a normal mind.
    Take a bottle of Tylenol, you will be dead in a week.
    Drink a quart of Vodka in a very short period, you are dead in a hour.
    Eat a pound of marijuana (if you can) you will go to sleep then get up and go to work the next day.
    Just to add if you could eat a pound or at least a part thereof. You will have the best Bowel Movement of your life. That in my opinion all politician’s are in dire need of.

  11.  

    Petition signed and a small donation made.

  12.  

    If marijuana isn’t COMPLETELY REMOVED from ALL Schedules of the CSA the consequences will be to instantly DESTROY the Amateur “Medical” Marijuana industries nationwide.

    It would also completely destroy any nascent “recreational” marijuana initiatives.

    All Scheduled Drugs are completely controlled by the DEA. Only DEA approved BigPharma manufactures are allowed to make and distribute said scheduled drugs.

    No Scheduled Drug can be approved for DEA controlled manufacture until the FDA rules the drug is approved for specific uses. That only happens after YEARS of Clinical Trials, which cost millions of $$. No company is going to front that $$ unless they can have a monopoly on that drug to recover their costs.

    ALL FDA approved, DEA controlled scheduled drugs must be dispensed from a LICENSED PHARMACY, run and operated by a DEA Licensed Pharmacist, not some clueless stoner “bud tender”.

    NO Pharmacist can dispense any FDA approved, DEA controlled scheduled drug unless it was PRESCRIBED by a DEA licensed Physician, a REAL M.D. who graduated med school and is in good standing with the State Medical Boards and the DEA.

    NO SCHEDULED DRUG is approved for Recreational Use.

    Not one.

    Anything LESS than FULL De-Scheduling will give the Feds, DEA, FDA the total control and authority to DESTROY every State’s amateur “medical” marijuana scheme.

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