A new Senate bill being introduced would protect medical marijuana patients, doctors and businesses from federal prosecution in states where marijuana has been legalized for medical purposes. It would also remove marijuana from being listed as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no benefits, to a Schedule II drug, which means it has an accepted medical use.
The bill would be a huge victory for marijuana in the U.S and would stop the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from prosecuting medical marijuana patients, doctors, growers, and dispensaries in states with medical marijuana laws. The bill would also give military veterans in medical marijuana states easier access to marijuana by allowing Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend marijuana for medical purposes.
“This bipartisan legislation allows states to set their own medical marijuana policies and ends the criminalization of patients, their families, and the caregivers and dispensary owners and employees who provide them their medicine,” stated Michael Collins, of the Drug Policy Alliance.
To date, 23 states have legalized medical marijuana and a dozen other states have legalized marijuana with low-THC for medical purposes. All these states would be protected under the new Senate bill. Four states – Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington – and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for adult recreational use.