Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

senate Bill S. 683

Do the Feds Need to Butt Out of State Medical Marijuana Laws?

Argument in favor

This would finally put a stop to federal interference in state medical marijuana laws that voters asked for. Marijuana has a legitimate medical use, and this bill will protect patients and their caregivers from prosecution.

DiploMatt's Opinion
···
05/22/2015
I can see no benefit to applying federal penalties to people that use a relatively safe substance within the bounds of state law. I'll have to wait for a bill that reschedules and decriminalizes cannabis at the federal level and support the patchwork of incompatible State laws in the interim.
Like (75)
Follow
Share
Justin's Opinion
···
05/31/2015
We need to end the second prohibition. The failed "War on Drugs" needs to stop.
Like (70)
Follow
Share
Timothy's Opinion
···
06/19/2015
I have Multiple Sclerosis, and the marijuana helps ease my throbbing, aching pain!
Like (43)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

Medical marijuana is often abused by people who just want to use marijuana recreationally. The federal government shouldn’t enable that, and needs to make an example of those who exploit the system.

David's Opinion
···
06/30/2015
They don't need to 'butt out' they need to legalize and begin taxing it.
Like (147)
Follow
Share
DCPolitical's Opinion
···
06/29/2015
We can't afford for it to be legal recreationally. Let's let the federal government decide on a federally labeled dangerous substance.
Like (6)
Follow
Share
Jordan's Opinion
···
05/23/2015
Marijuana is Marijuana. It will be abused by those who use and then everyone will lose.
Like (6)
Follow
Share

What is Senate Bill S. 683?

This bill would allow people to use medical marijuana in states where it is legal without fear of federal prosecution. It would not legalize medical marijuana at the federal level, but would simply respect the laws of the 23 states plus the District of Columbia and Guam that have legalized medical marijuana.

Marijuana would also be reclassified from a Schedule I to a Schedule II drug in order to recognize its accepted medical use — opening the door for states to set their own policies with respect to medical marijuana.

Doctors working for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would also be able to prescribe marijuana to veterans under their care. Currently, marijuana is not recognized by the VA as a valid treatment option because of federal law, even in states where medical marijuana is legal.

This bill would also modify federal law to allow banks to provide financial services to legal medical marijuana dispensaries that comply with state laws. Cannabidiol — a part of marijuana’s chemistry profile that used to make synthetic marijuana — would be excluded from the definition of marijuana, thus allowing states to determine the status of cannabidiol.

Impact

Anyone who uses medical marijuana products, patients in states where medical marijuana is legal, veterans receiving care from the VA in medical marijuana states, local law enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Attorney General.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 683

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

Of Note: At the end of the 113th Congress in December 2014, Congress included a measure in the so-called “Cromnibus” preventing the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) from prosecuting medical marijuana cases where the defendants are complying with state laws. That followed an uptick in raids related to medical marijuana, which led some to criticize the Obama administration for its stance on large-scale producers and retailers of marijuana.

Sponsoring Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said of his bill

“Doctors and patients deserve federal laws that are fair and compassionate, and states should be able to set their own medical marijuana policies without federal interference.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) added

“We want to take [marijuana] down to Schedule II, so doctors can prescribe this more easily. We don’t want doctors to be punished for simply trying to help people.”

In some states where medical marijuana has been legalized, there have been accusations of people abusing the marijuana they’re entrusted to grow as caregivers, or that the process of obtaining a medical marijuana card is too easy.


In-Depth:

This legislation’s companion bill in the House of Representatives has 14 bipartisan cosponsors — seven Democrats and seven Republicans.

Similar legislation that would allow VA doctors to prescribe medical marijuana in states where it is legal was introduced in the House in early February, but it has not progressed from committee yet.


Media:


Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Dank Depot)

AKA

CARERS Act of 2015

Official Title

A bill to extend the principle of federalism to State drug policy, provide access to medical marijuana, and enable research into the medicinal properties of marijuana.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedMarch 10th, 2015
    I can see no benefit to applying federal penalties to people that use a relatively safe substance within the bounds of state law. I'll have to wait for a bill that reschedules and decriminalizes cannabis at the federal level and support the patchwork of incompatible State laws in the interim.
    Like (75)
    Follow
    Share
    They don't need to 'butt out' they need to legalize and begin taxing it.
    Like (147)
    Follow
    Share
    We need to end the second prohibition. The failed "War on Drugs" needs to stop.
    Like (70)
    Follow
    Share
    I have Multiple Sclerosis, and the marijuana helps ease my throbbing, aching pain!
    Like (43)
    Follow
    Share
    Please get this before the house and vote on it. There are 28 states where medical marijuana use is allowed. Federal overreach needs to end... 10th amendment. http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881
    Like (37)
    Follow
    Share
    And while y'all are at it, go ahead and legalize marijuana for recreational use. It is absolutely insane that this herb is still illegal; so many citizens with arrests making it impossible to find employment and so many disrupted lives being spent in jail - all on taxpayers' dollars.
    Like (28)
    Follow
    Share
    We waste gazillions of $$$ not to mention the wasted energy of police trying to keep citizens (mostly minority citizens) from doing what they're going to do no matter what the law says. In states where the citizenry accepts marijuana use, what is the point of wasting more time, money & energy on a non-issue.
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    Prohibition does not work. This issue is simple and lack of action by Congress will surely shape the outcome of the next election cycle.
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, states should decide this. So long as it's not causing any harm to anyone else, states should deal with it.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    There never was a need to have anti-marijuana laws, and there is no need to have them now. Eliminate all federal anti-marijuana laws and release all convicted marijuana prisoners.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    If it is legal in a state, the Feds should stay out of it. Some states it's just medical and the Feds should be involved. Some states it's recreation and medical and that's were the Feds should just leave it alone. We tax heavy for schools here in Colorado. We should have also had a tax that requires MM users to attend a formal class put on by an advanced medical doctor stating the best way to use it for certain conditions. Smoking anything isn't good for your lungs, and eating it sometimes is to powerful. The manufacturing industry is way behind, and funds are needed for science to dose these edibles correctly and disease specific. It's still new, but we gotta refine it so it is more professional and has better quality control. Example: some strains of certain setivas have been known to increase metastasis in certain cancers. You never see that at a mm shop. If it's going to be medical, we need better guidelines to actually treat patients
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    This is just another example of the Feds interfering in our private lives. Medicine, & medical marijuana always has the possibility of being abused, but there are all sorts of state laws in place to make sure prescriptions are not abused.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Unless they're legalizing it at the federal level - absolutely!
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Marijuana has been criminalizes for nearly the past century for reasons that are still questionable to this day and it's time for us to stop wasting money on putting these so called "criminals" in jail for these nonviolent offenses and ruining these people's lives all because they're selling narcotics that doctors can prescribe in California and a person earns 250,000 annually to grow it but the person that sells it for $10-20 they're the ones that face the biggest risk. This has to stop!
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Leave it to the states.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Feds waste too much money in states where marihuana is legalized for medical use, in prosecuting people.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    We can't afford for it to be legal recreationally. Let's let the federal government decide on a federally labeled dangerous substance.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Marijuana is Marijuana. It will be abused by those who use and then everyone will lose.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    The War on Drugs is a failure. We need to get treatment for addicts, not prison time. Marijuana in particular is very powerful for medicinal purposes and it's absurd for people to fear Federal prosecution for treatment. Respect state rights. In turn: decriminalize, tax and regulate.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    You can not fix our social problems until you take the money away from the drug dealers. You are trying to dove problems that MIGHT exist or would potentially exist tha working on the ones that actually will exist were it legal.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE