Lawmakers in the House of Representatives introduced a bipartisan bill on Thursday that would protect medical marijuana users in states with legal pot. Rep. Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee, and Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young are the sponsors of the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act.
If passed, the CARERS Act would amend federal law to allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies. It would also permit doctors with the Department of Veterans Affairs to recommend medical marijuana to veterans to treat serious and chronic conditions. Although it would not legalize cannabis at the federal level, it would respect the states’ decisions to legalize medical marijuana and would prevent federal law enforcement from prosecuting patients, doctors, and caregivers in those states.
The measure is similar to a bill of the same name that stalled in the last Congress. That bill received a host of bipartisan support from Cohen, Young, and Senators Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Al Franken (D-Minnesota), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in its Senate version.
Federal Law Out of Sync with Public Opinion
Cohen said in a statement that the bill reflects the opinion of a majority