New Reform Bill Could Help States Develop Marijuana Programs
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A soon-to-be-revealed medical marijuana reform bill could narrow the gap between federal and state laws, giving states increased freedom to develop and implement medical marijuana regimes.
The new bill, sponsored by Senators' Rand Paul, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand wouldn’t exactly legalize marijuana on a federal level, but it would downgrade the drug’s classification from Schedule I to Schedule II. It would also ease restrictions on interstate transportation and broaden the scope of marijuana research. These changes, though subtle, would make it significantly easier for individual states to create medical marijuana programs.
Many organizations that are staunchly opposed to the full legalization of marijuana seem to be onboard with the changes proposed by the new bill. The American Medical Association, for instance, recommended that “marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines.”
The American Cancer Society also seems to be in line with the new bill and “believes that the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration imposes numerous conditions on researchers and deters scientific study of cannabinoids.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics has also called for downgrading marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug.
If the reform bill is passed, medical research into marijuana can be conducted full swing, but the access to the drug will still be restricted by state laws.