U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was in New York City this week and had a strong message to send out the National Cannabis Industry Association; the message was basically that the federal government needed to propose marijuana laws in the United States. The Democratic lawmaker said that her goal was to “pass a nationwide reform that would essentially legalize medical marijuana across the nation.” According to Gillibrand, the CARERS Act (introduced in March) is the key to making necessary changes in the way that cannabis is handled in the United States. Her main point was that some of the states that have already legalized medical marijuana are unable to use the substance because of the illegality of the drug.
“There’s a conflict between state and federal statute that confuses doctors, patients and providers alike,” Gillibrand stated. “People aren’t sure what’s legal, what’s not, and the gray area that resulted is hindering health care and the industry’s development.”
In addition, she added that because of the Federal Government’s obstinance to remove marijuana from the Schedule II category, important research is being stalled and the entire country is unable to reach the progressive attitude that some states have already seen.
“There’s a grave lack of any marijuana research. This is a direct result of federal requirements that only govern the study of marijuana. No other drug, Schedule I or otherwise, has been subjected to the same constraints,” she said.
The CARERS Act was of the most publicized attempts to legalize medicinal marijuana, but there has not been enough support from the Republican Party to actually implement it. This is the very reason that Gillibrand, one of the three that introduced the law, encouraged supporters to contact local officials so that the attention it needs to make a difference.
“We have a lot of work to be done to pass this law, and I will need every person’s help in this room. We have to raise our voices, and tell our elected leaders and ask they support this bill. (The CARERS Act) would finally allow families and patients, including our veterans in 40 states that have some form of legalized medical marijuana, to access the basic care that they need without fear of prosecution,” Gillibrand concluded.
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