Last year, Congress passed an amendment that barred the Department of Justice from using federal dollars to prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries in states that have legalized them. Last week, three senators proposed a measure to clean up the federal-state medical marijuana mess once and for all.
Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., introduced their Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act, which should draw support from the right and left. Why? First, it would reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II, granting recognition that marijuana has legitimate medical uses, a sop to the left. Second, it would direct the federal government to stop prosecuting dispensers in states that have legalized marijuana for medical use — a states’ rights emphasis that should draw GOP votes. The measure also would allow cannabidiol imports to help patients with epilepsy and seizure disorders — the folks who need medical marijuana the most — and allow Veterans Affairs doctors to prescribe medical marijuana. Booker sees his legislation as a matter of “common sense, fiscal prudence and compassion.”