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Senator Graham Lends Support To Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill

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lindsey graham marijuana

(image via wikipedia)

Yesterday, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joined the bipartisan Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act (S. 683) as a co-sponsor. The support of Senator Graham coincides with the one-year anniversary of the bill’s introduction by Senators Cory Booker (D-NY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rand Paul (R-KY).  The CARERS Act is the most comprehensive piece of medical cannabis legislation ever introduced in the U.S. Congress and would remedy the state-federal conflict over medical cannabis law.

“Graham’s support of CARERS Act is a significant step for patients” said Americans for Safe Access Executive Director, Steph Sherer. “This development should finally compel fellow Republican and Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley to allow the bill a vote. This is the only way to respect the 40 states that have laws recognizing medical use and the more than 80% of voters who support it.”

The passage of the CARERS Act  would allow state medical marijuana programs to continue without federal interference, move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substance Schedule, remove the marijuana compound Cannabidiol (CBD) entirely from the schedule, create access to banking services for marijuana businesses in legal states, eliminate the DEA-mandated “NIDA-monopoly” that prevents researchers from obtaining marijuana for clinical studies, and allow Veterans Health Administration physicians to write recommendations in states that have established a medical marijuana program.

“I was thrilled to hear of Senator Lindsay Graham’s recent support for the CARERS Act,” said ASA member and Graham constituent Jill Swing. “We have been working for over two years on creating a medical cannabis program here in South Carolina and the CARERS Act will solidify that legislation once it becomes law, hopefully, as soon as this year.”

“As a veteran who has had numerous suicide attempts, veteran to veteran, thank you Senator Graham, from the bottom of my heart for endorsing this legislation and saying I should not be locked in a cage .” said Retired Army Sergeant Jonathan M. Lubecky. “If enacted CARERS will save lives, it will ensure that a veteran, many veterans, will have a family and watch their children grow up, rather than be buried at a young age under the flag of the country they loved.” Lubecky recently meet with Senator Graham’s office.

Over the last decade, ASA has brought thousands of patients from 46 states across the country to lobby elected officials. Previous ASA lobby days have been successful in moving medical cannabis legislation forward and for the introduction of  the CARERS Act. Participants at ASA’s 2014 and 2015  conferences helped lay the groundwork to Congress passing the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which prohibits the Department of Justice from using funds to prosecute state-legal medical marijuana conduct.

“I am honored to be working with patient advocates like Jill Swing and Sergeant Lubecky who are the true heros in the advancement of federal policy,” continued Sherer. “I am hopeful that the hundreds of voices ASA will be bringing to Washington through our National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference will inspire more brave actions like that of Senator Graham’s.”
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Source: Americans for Safe Accessmake a donation

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  • PhDScientist

    This is good news — but moving Medical Marijuana to Schedule 2 isn’t enough.
    Google “Marijuana Therapeutic Index”
    Bernie Sanders is right — Medical Marijuana should be de-scheduled completely.
    That’s what more and more Physicians and Scientists want the government to do.
    Medical Marijuana is a “Wonder Drug” — with an unmatched safety profile
    The Israeli’s say it best — Medical Marijuana is a “Gift from God” — “Tikkun Olam” — “To Heal The World”

  • PhDScientist

    Everyone who reads this should call the white house comment line at (202) 456-1111 and ask that the President get Marijuana removed from Schedule 1 IMMEDIATELY.

    President Obama is a good and decent man. It’s the decent thing to do.

    • saynotohypocrisy

      I have to disagree. when it comes to medicinal cannabis, Obama is being a real degenerate.
      I did call the White House comment line quite a few times, but after Obama washed his hands of the matter and said it’s up to Congress,
      I’m taking him at his fascist word. I’m done with that POS.

  • Jerry Cook

    Sched 2 is still a lie and Bernie’s bill is a much better way to go..if truth is allowed to be the main factor for ending imposed suffering & death that is only for big pharma & all opposition profits.

    • Jetdoc

      I question Bennies commitment to the cause considering just last JUNE, he was 100 AGAINST legalization. Me thinks there’s a bit of political opportunism going on here!

      If he’s had such an epiphany since June 2015. Since he’s SO into this cause now, like he SAYS he is? Don’t you think he’d sign on to The CARERS Act, as a co-sponsor? He’s not signed on to the CARERS Act or ANY OTHER marijuana legislation in his CAREER!

      Since June, a 74 yr old guy who’s OPPOSED THAT policy at every turn, totally flip flops on the issue, and people actually believe the commitment? This 74 yr old CAREER POLITICIAN (26 yrs) who’s trying to play the outsider has NEVER had 1 piece of legislation he actually wrote, or sponsored that has EVER passed the legislative body he was in.

      No the CARERS Act doesn’t go far enough imho, By moving marijuana to Schedule II, the RESEARCH they claim is so lacking can be performed. Veterans committing suicide at a rate of 22/day imho will be drastically cut in half by its passage. Veterans wouldn’t be stuck on the Narcotic Cocktail specifically designed for them by the VA. One that makes you feel the way THEY think you should feel at that particular time of the day! A cocktail to get me going in the morning and then massive quantities of narcotics to counteract the effects of those drugs, to help me sleep at night! What a life?

      • PhDScientist

        People need to call the white house comment line (202) 456-1111, every single day until the President changes our national policy on this issue and removes Marijuana from Schedule 1. President Obama smoked a ton of pot when he was young, just for fun, but now is dragging his feet in making it legally available to American Children dying of Seizures disorders that need it to stay alive. My “dog in this fight” is America’s Cancer Patients, and their need to have safe, legal, access to Medical Marijuana, but the situation with respect to American kids dying of Seizure is even more tragic.

      • jason

        not sure what your definition of “opportunism” is…but I’ll just leave this little nugget here below…and you can put forth an elected leader that has made a bigger statement..and defend if they are “opportunistic” as well??

        On 04-November-2015,

        Bernie Sanders introduced Senate Bill 2237,

        the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015”,

        to remove cannabis from the federal CSA,

        (federal DE-scheduling).

        • Jetdoc

          You NAILED political opportunism. A guy that’s been AGAINST THAT policy for 75 years. All of a sudden changes his mind and tries to de-schedule marijuana. THAT’S the ONLY marijuana bill he’s EVER put his name on! He’s NOT signed on to ANY OTHER marijuana legislation at ALL! NONE! That’s political opportunism!

  • PhDScientist

    This weekend, like every other one, over 3,000 Americans will die of Cancer — after going through “Hell On Earth”

    If you’re an American man, you’ve got a 1 out of 2 chance of getting Cancer and a 1 out of 2 chance of dying from it.

    Every American with Cancer deserves safe, legal, access to Medical Marijuana.

    Every. Single. One.

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