Early in 2015, two senators - Rand Paul (R-KY), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) proposed a bipartisan medical cannabis bill protecting and enhancing access by patients, expanding research, and extending access to the nations veterans. Known as the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act of 2015, or CARERS act, and its progress, rise, fall and recent reincarnation has been closely followed by Medical Cannabis patients and activists.
Briefly stated, this broad-spectrum act, if passed, could possibly strike THE terminal blow against cannabis prohibition.
Marijuana would be moved from Schedule I to Schedule II, states would be allowed to create their own medical marijuana policies, and VA doctors would be allowed to recommend and prescribe medical cannabis, extending effective treatment for PTSD and many other serious conditions to the nation's veterans.
And while the CARERS act itself nearly followed previous attempts to get the Fed to lighten up, nearly getting flushed down the toilet along with its predecessors, the very very good news, for those who have been following the bill's progress, the Act is assembling itself piece by piece - it's key components are becoming law on their own.
Earlier this month, the Veterans Equal Access Amendment was approved by the vote of the House of Representatives, finally paving the way for vets treated via the VA to receive medical cannabis therapy. In April, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved, with strong bipartisan support, an amendment to the FY2017 Commerce, Justice, Science & Related Agencies Appropriations Act, defunding the Justice Department's interference with states' medical cannabis programs.
It might be too much to hope that rescheduling (DE-scheduling?) is imminent, but it's clear that progress is being made.
Additionally, states continue to enact their own medical cannabis programs - most recently Pennsylvania. Slowly, the stars on the flag turn green…
Care to sign a petition in support of the newly viable CARERS act? Dust off your activism pen and go here:
Meanwhile, on the home front here in California, things are looking a tad more draconian…
B 987 is a bill that would assess an additional 15% excise tax on medical cannabis - this is on top of state sales tax and any local tax. Do they want it to be cheaper to buy on the street? Sign that petition here.
You can still raise your voice against AB 2740, which would make it on offense to drive with a nearly infinitesimal 5 ng/ml or more of THC in your blood - Sign your name in opposition!