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U.S. Congressman Calls On Attorney General To Reschedule Marijuana

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Steven CohenSteve Cohen has been an outspoken supporter of marijuana reform, which is rare in Congress. Not as rare as it used to be, but rare nonetheless. Below is a press release from Congressman Cohen directed at United States Attorney General Eric Holder calling for him to reschedule marijuana:

In response Attorney General Eric Holder’s comments this week regarding marijuana at the National Press Club, Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) called on Attorney General Eric Holder to use existing authority to reschedule marijuana.

“Marijuana is currently a Schedule I drug.  This is a category for drugs with no medical benefit.  Not even cocaine or methamphetamine are Schedule I,” said Congressman Cohen.  “Patients have used marijuana to treat epileptic seizures, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Parkinson’s disease, and nausea associated with cancer treatment.  The federal government should be doing more to keep abreast of the science that has demonstrated that marijuana has medicinal value as well as not interfering with states that have recognized that fact.”

During an event at the National Press Club on Tuesday, Attorney General Holder said that there is “a legitimate debate to be had on both sides of that question on where marijuana should be in terms of scheduling.” [Feb. 17, 2015 National Journal]

In a letter sent to the Attorney General, Congressman Cohen wrote, in part, “[A]s you know, you already have the statutory authority to reclassify marijuana…Not even cocaine or methamphetamine are Schedule I substances….I urge you to in your remaining time in office to take action, under existing federal law to reclassify marijuana.”

As a Schedule I drug, marijuana has the same classification as heroin, LSD and MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy.

Congressman Cohen’s letter also describes how marijuana has been used to treat cancer patients and children with epileptic seizures.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound of marijuana which has medicinal effects but does not contain significant THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.  CBD has been used to treat seizures.

One of Congressman Cohen’s constituents, 3-year-old Chloe Grauer, suffered from a rare neurological disease that caused her to have 100 to 200 seizures daily.  Her family tried dozens of options to treat her disease including medications and surgery, but nothing stopped the seizures.  Her family tried to treat her with CBD.  Because of Cannabidiol’s Schedule I classification, Tennessee was unable to quickly make CBD available for Chloe.  Sadly, Chloe passed away late last year.

Congressman Cohen has advocated for bipartisan legislation, Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act, which would remove CBD from the federal definition of marijuana. If enacted, the bill would have allowed Chloe access to CBD which might have alleviated her symptoms.

A PDF of the letter is available here.

Source: Congressman Steve Cohen

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  • Randy

    I see a big problem with the prison overcrowding.in our Country. thank you for writing a great law to let the punishment fit the crime and make room for real prisoners. the judges are turning away real criminals a lot of times because there just isn’t enough room for everybody. if someone wants to help show our state lawmakers our opinions of what is fair laws, do you have any suggestions as to who we should try to talk to on that topic?

  • besommer

    I actually feel the same way about any substance. Increased Heroin use in our society can be attributed to prohibition, just like increased Cocaine use. If probition weren’t part of our history, more people would be likely smoking Opium or chewing Coca leaves instead of using a more concentrated product that was popularized for easier smuggling and to get the most bang for your buck.

  • Rand is OK. Not as good as Ron. But Rand is a Senator and Ron is a private citizen.

  • Kathleen Chippi

    Science and 8,000 plus years of human use show us cannabis should be REMOVED from schedule. Alcohol, tobacco and aspirin are NOT on schedule. It’s schedule I based on LIES, prohibition based on lies….

  • Johnny oneye

    Ron not Rand

  • What? You were hoping he wasn’t a politician? Isn’t that asking for more than any of them deliver? Ever.

    After all – we have elected a President who was going to wind down the war in Iraq. He is now asking to start it up again. Yes. Just air power and advisers. But I’m old enough to remember Vietnam starting the same way.

    They all lie. They are all phony. So which is the lying phoney closest to my issues? It is about the best you can do.

    As my grandpappy always used to say, “They are all crooks.”

  • thom bombastus

    “The July 2014 version of “Granny Storm Crow’s List” has studies on how
    cannabis, or various cannabinoids can help heal, or lessen the effects
    of each of these conditions.” Granny Storm Crow

    ACHILLES TENDINOSIS
    ACNE
    ADD/ ADHD
    ADDICTION TO PHARMACEUTICAL OR ILLICIT DRUGS
    ALS / AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS
    ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
    ANOREXIA NERVOSA
    ANTI-INFLAMMATORY PROPERTIES
    ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTIES
    APPETITE STIMULANT
    ARTHRITIS
    ASTHMA
    ATHEROSCLEROSIS
    AUTISM
    BACK PAIN
    BILE DUCT DISORDERS
    BIPOLAR DISORDER
    BLADDER DISORDERS
    BLEPHAROSPASM
    BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER
    BOWEL DISORDERS
    BULIMIA
    BURNING MOUTH SYNDROME
    CANCER – ADRENAL CORTICAL
    CANCER – BLADDER / URETHRAL
    CANCER – BONE
    CANCER – BREAST
    CANCER – CERVICAL
    CANCER – CHOLANGIOCARCINOMA
    CANCER – COLON /COLORECTAL
    CANCER – ENDOMETRIAL
    CANCER – GASTRIC
    CANCER – GLIOMA/ BRAIN CANCERS
    CANCER – HEAD AND NECK
    CANCER – KAPOSI’S SARCOMA
    CANCER – KIDNEY
    CANCER – LEUKEMIA
    CANCER – LIVER
    CANCER – LUNG
    CANCER – LYMPHOMA
    CANCER – MELANOMA
    CANCER – MULTIPLE MYELOMA
    CANCER – NASOPHARYNGEAL
    CANCER – NEUROBLASTOMA
    CANCER – ORAL
    CANCER – OVARIAN
    CANCER – PANCREATIC
    CANCER – PITUITARY ADENOMA
    CANCER – PNET / PRIMITIVE NEUROECTODERMAL TUMOR
    CANCER – PROSTATE
    CANCER – RHABDOMYOSARCOMA
    CANCER – SKIN
    CANCER – SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA
    CANCER – TESTICULAR
    CANCER – THYMOMA
    CANCER – THYROID
    CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
    CELIAC DISEASE
    CEREBRAL PALSY
    CHAGAS DISEASE/ AMERICAN TRYPANOSOMIASIS
    CHARCOT-MARIE-TOOTH DISEASE
    CHEMOTHERAPY SIDE EFFECTS
    CHOLERA
    CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDRONE/ MYALGIC ENCEPHALOMYELITIS
    COLITIS
    COPD/ CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PUMONARY DISEASE
    CROHN’S DISEASE
    CRPS/ COMPLEX REGIONAL PAIN SYNDROME
    CUSHING’S SYNDROME
    CYSTIC FIBROSIS
    CYSTITIS
    DEPRESSION
    DERMATITIS
    DIABETES
    DOWN’S SYNDROME
    DUPUYTREN’S CONTRACTURE
    DYSKINESIA
    DYSTONIA
    ECZEMA
    EDEMA
    EHLERS-DANLOS SYNDROME
    ENCEPHALITIS
    ENDOMETRIOSIS
    EPIDIDYMITIS
    EPILEPSY/ SEIZURES
    ESSENTIAL TREMOR
    FAMILIAL MEDITERRANEAN FEVER
    FIBROMYALGIA
    FLU / INFLUENZA
    FRAGILE X SYNDROME
    GASTRIC ULCERS
    GERD/GASTRO-ESOPHAGEAL REFLUX
    GLAUCOMA
    GOUT
    GRANULOMA
    GRAVE’S DISEASE
    HEADACHES
    HEART DISEASE/ CARDIOVASCULAR DISORDERS
    HEPATITIS
    HEREDITARY MULTIPLE EXOTOSES
    HERPES
    HICCUPS
    HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
    HIGH CHOLESTEROL
    HIV / AIDS
    HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE
    HYPEREKPLEXIA DISEASE
    IBS/ IBD
    IDIOPATHIC INTRACRANIAL HYPERTENSION
    IMMUNE THROMBOCYTOPENIA
    ISAACS’ SYNDROME/ ACQUIRED NEUROMYOTONIA
    KIDNEY DISORDERS
    LEISHMANIASIS
    LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS
    LYME DISEASE
    MACULAR DEGENERATION
    MALARIA
    MARFAN’S SYNDROME
    MENIERE’S SYNDROME
    MENINGITIS
    MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS
    MIGRAINES
    MORNING SICKNESS
    MOTION SICKNESS
    MRSA/ METHICILLIN-RESISTANT STAPHLOCOCCUS AUREUS
    MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS/ MS
    MULTIPLE SYSTEM ATROPHY
    MUSCLE RELAXANT
    MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY/ MD
    MYOCLONUS DIAPHRAGMATIC FLUTTER
    NAIL-PATELLA SYNDROME
    NAUSEA
    NEOINTIMA
    NEUROPATHIC PAIN
    NIEMANN-PICK DISEASE
    NIGHT SWEATS
    OBESITY
    OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER/ OCD
    OSTEOPOROSIS
    OVARIAN CYSTS
    PAIN
    PANCREATITIS
    PARKINSON’S DISEASE
    PERINATAL HYPOXIC-ISCHEMIC INJURY
    PHARC SYNDROME
    PORPHYRIA
    POST-OPERATIVE PAIN
    POST POLIO SYNDROME
    POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER/ PTSD
    PROMM/ PROXIMAL MYOTONIC PROSTATIC HYPERPLASIA
    PRURITIS
    PSORIASIS
    QUITTING OTHER DRUGS
    QUITTING TOBACCO
    REFLEX SYMPATHETIC DYSTROPHY
    RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME
    RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA
    SCA/ SPINOCEREBELLAR ATAXIA
    SCHISTOSOMA INFECTION
    RSD /REFLEX SYMPATHETIC DYSTROPHY
    SCHIZOPHRENIA
    SCLERODERMA
    SEPTIC SHOCK
    SICKLE CELL DISEASE
    SLEEP APNEA
    SLEEPING SICKNESS/ TRYPANOSOMIASIS
    SPASTICITY
    SPINAL CORD INJURY
    SPINOCEREBELLAR ATAXIA
    STIFF-PERSON SYNDROME
    STRESS
    STROKE
    STUTTERING
    THALASSEMIA MAJOR
    TIC DOULOUREUX/ TRIGEMINAL NEUROPATHIC PAIN
    TINNITUS
    TOURETTE’S SYNDROME
    TRICHOTILLOMANIA
    TUBEROUS SCLEROSIS
    WILSON’S DISEASE

  • thom bombastus

    LEGALIZATION IS FREE!!!!!!!!!! – MAKES PERFECT SENSE!!!

    LEGALIZATION makes MEDICAL MARIJUANA
    and the DRUG WAR MOOT!!! – MAKES PERFECT SENSE!!!

    LEGALIZATION IS A GIGANTIC WINDFALL TAX CUT!!! – MAKES PERFECT SENSE!!!

    LEGALIZATION IS SELF IMPLEMENTING AND INSTANTANEOUS!!!! – MAKES PERFECT SENSE!!!

    LEGALIZATION STOPS ALL FEEDS TO BIG BROTHER FROM STATE AGENCIES,
    INSTANTLY!!!! – MAKES PERFECT SENSE!!!

    LEGALIZATION MAKES MJ SCHEDULE 0 – SAME AS ALCOHOL & TOBACCO – MAKES PERFECT SENSE!!!

    HOLD OUT FOR LEGALIZATION INITIATIVE! – MAKES PERFECT SENSE!

    DON’T SIGN THIS “FOOL ME ONCE” INITIATIVE – MAKES PERFECT SENSE!

    Thom Bombastus

  • darthhillbilly

    My heart goes out to you and your son, as well as the parents who have had to uproot their lives to seek treatment that should be available. The “Drug War” has caused so many casualties that it is heartbreaking. So sorry for your worries and your son’s misfortune. The laws NEED to be changed.

  • Kathy Crawford

    I like Rand I hope he is our next president and he
    Ends marijuana prohibition

  • Kathy Crawford

    US patent number
    6630507

  • Kathy Crawford

    My son used marijuana and was just fine for years
    He was a good man who loved and took care of his family
    He was arrested in Va and they threw the book at him
    He also has PSTD and can’t sleep.
    Now he sad and depressed and has to pay all this money to the courts and lawyers
    And with a no good job now so he struggles and stays broke
    He’s court date is April 14th
    And I hope and pray this will pass to save him from going to jail
    How can this be the way they treat someone
    End marijuana prohibition on a federal level
    The unjust laws do more harm the marijuana itself

  • darthhillbilly

    That was meant towards heroin, not marijuana. Look at my comments lol…I’m on your side…Free The Weed!!!

  • besommer

    And when you are cited for possession and don’t pay the fine? You don’t think that is the first step on the path to incarceration? There is no reason for the Judicial system to have any involvement regarding an individual choosing to use this plant — whether it is for recreation, medicinal, spiritual or religious reasons.

  • Fired Up!

    A drunk-driver messed and disabled my brother and he can’t even smoke a joint, because he HAS to take pain medication! Duh, His old doctor would let him…but not now, not in NC..the doctors drug-test him just to make sure he is WITHOUT THC..and what a shame! Someone, Give me some advice please! He’s beginning to lose his battle with his mind! PTSD..He can’t handle anymore!

  • Fired Up!

    Does the USA always have to be last on legalizing this plant! And to even compare it to cocaine and meth is a joke! Please, let us, the American citizens decide what we know is best for this country!!

  • Johnny oneye

    #efficacy

  • Dave Period

    I’m not in the same boat as you but on the pier you got on (pulled over once for speeding so far). Long story short, Just A few points to think about: 1. Its not the plant its the law that’s the problem. 2. How do they expect a class to help when you know the truth? 3. Isn’t it weird to you that one crime is consequential of another? In my case, everyone who found out about my situation were shocked and much more concerned with an inanimate plant in my car rather than the fact of me operating a 3000 lb vehicle at high speed. My weed ticket was less than the speeding. Odd isn’t it? Just sounds weird when you say it. Just emphasizing with you is all.

  • WMDG Darkgoddess

    it’s necessary medicine, maybe the best there is.

  • kycountry

    Being from the bluegrass state I’ve followed Paul’s comments and views. I’ve came to the conclusion it just depends “who” he’s speaking with at the time. Phony……..peace

  • Gary Williams

    It keeps me from getting Alzheimer’s! Keeps me from getting glaucoma! Allows me to know I’m aggravating some ignorant self-serving asshole!