Republicans & Democrats Look Past Party Lines in Efforts to Legalize Pot on Federal Level
With the increased support for the legalization of marijuana, specifically that for medicinal purposes, American politicians are putting their party lines aside and joining together to fight back against Jeff Sessions and his war on cannabis.
At the bill’s unveiling, Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) stated, “The fact is our marijuana laws in America are broken. They are savagely broken, and the jagged pieces are hurting American people.”
Image Via The Free Though Project
He, along with U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) in introducing a bill that is designed to end the prohibition of marijuana at the federal level. First introduced in 2015 as the first medical marijuana bill to be brought before the U.S. Senate, it returns with even greater power, adding Democratic Senator Al Franken and Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mike Lee to its growing list of supporters.
The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States, or CARERS, Act would allow each state to act independently in regards to the handling of possession, production, and distribution of medical marijuana. It flies directly in the face of the DEA’s classification of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. It also specifically addresses the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), allowing the VA to authorize its health care providers to provide both recommendations and opinions regarding state marijuana programs to veterans where applicable.
Don Murphy, the director of conservative outreach for the Marijuana Policy Project said, “The reintroduction of the CARERS Act is the first of many steps we hope this Congress will take to end the federal prohibition of medical marijuana. Polls show overwhelmingly strong support for medical marijuana, and it spans the political spectrum. The federal government should not be meddling in state laws that allow it or obstructing research into its many medical benefits.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone, the bill’s proponents admit that they will be facing an uphill battle, however they believe that the push in the United States towards legalization, with many of the red states now having passed some form of legal weed, that the cause is gaining energy and support, picking up steam as it moves forward.
Senator Gillibrand advised, “I believe things are changing and they’re changing fast. I think we will get the support we need.”