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January 7, 2019

Number of the week: 127

Written by Marc Schwarz
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Photo Credit: Courtesy Architect of the Capitol

That’s the number of the House of Representatives bill introduced last week that reintroduces the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect State Act (CARERS Act).

The CARERS Act (H.R. 127)  would “extend the principle of federalism to State drug policy, provide access to medical marijuana, and enable research into the medicinal properties of marijuana.”

Introduced by Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee) and Donald Young (R-Alaska), the bill would offer protections for state-legal medical marijuana businesses and allow the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to actively issue medical marijuana recommendations for patients.

“The national consensus on medical marijuana is solid and bipartisan, but our federal drug laws continue to treat patients and their doctors like criminals,” Cohen said in a statement. “Our bill would bring federal medical marijuana policy in line with the views of the overwhelming majority of Americans by allowing states to set their own marijuana laws, allowing patients, including veterans, to receive the treatments they need from their doctors and improving opportunities for research on marijuana.”

Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) announced his support for the bill –he was a primary sponsor of the previous CARERS Act incarnations. “By ensuring that states are able to set their own medical marijuana policies, the CARERS Act will help ensure access to treatment for those who benefit from medical marijuana— from children suffering from chronic illnesses to veterans battling PTSD,” he said.

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