Senate bill seeks to lift federal MMJ restrictions – The Cannabist
Published: Mar 10, 2015, 10:17 am By Matthew Daly, Associated Press WASHINGTON — Two Democratic senators and a possible Republican presidential candidate joined forces Tuesday to push a bill to remove federal prohibitions on medical marijuana in 23 states where it’s already legal.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey said their unusual coalition is a sign of growing acceptance of medical marijuana.
The lawmakers introduced a bill intended to eliminate uncertainty surrounding marijuana use in states and the District of Columbia that allow it for medicinal purposes. The bill also would allow doctors at veterans’ hospitals to prescribe pot for medical purposes and allow banks to provide checking accounts and other financial services to marijuana dispensaries.
If approved, the bill would represent a major shift in congressional action on marijuana.
Congress has enacted legislation ensuring that the District of Columbia can’t allow marijuana to be sold legally, and GOP lawmakers have warned that city actions allowing residents to legally grow and share marijuana in private violate federal law.
Paul, Booker and Gillibrand offered a much more supportive view on Tuesday — at least on the issue of medical marijuana.
“This bill we are introducing seeks to right decades of wrong and end unnecessary marijuana laws,” Booker said at a Capitol news conference, where lawmakers were joined by veterans and other patients who use marijuana to relieve pain or suffering. All said they fear prosecution if they move to a different state or if the federal government decides to crack down on medical marijuana use.
“Our federal government has long overstepped the boundaries of common sense, fiscal prudence and compassion with its marijuana laws. These laws must change,” Booker said.
“Otherwise law-abiding Americans — bankers, business people, veterans and families — are fearful of unnecessary, expensive, life-disrupting investigations and prosecutions,” Booker said. “Today we join together to say enough is enough.”
Paul, a doctor who is considering a bid for president, said Americans “are changing our opinions on restricting people’s choices as far as medical treatments” and said the bill would allow patients … – Click Here To Visit Article Source