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Federal medical marijuana bills introduced

Posted on February 26th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

medical marijuanaMore than a dozen members of Congress co-introduced legislation Feb. 14 that would reclassify cannabis for medical use and provide federal defendants the right to use state law compliance as evidence in medical marijuana trials, a right they're currently denied. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) authored H.R. 689, the "States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act," which in addition to rescheduling cannabis will allow states to establish production and distribution laws without interference by the federal government, and will remove current obstacles to research. Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) authored H.R. 710, the "Truth in Trials Act," to overturn the prohibition on medical marijuana evidence in federal court. 

"Nineteen jurisdictions have passed laws recognizing the importance of providing access to medical marijuana for the hundreds of thousands of patients who rely on it," said Rep. Blumenauer. "It is time for the federal government to respect these decisions, and stop inhibiting safe access." On H.R. 710, the "Truth in Trials Act," Congressman Farr said that, "The federal government for too long has denied due process to defendants who can demonstrate that they were using medical marijuana legally under local or state law. This bill would ensure that all the evidence is heard in a case and not just the evidence that favors conviction."

H.R. 689 is partly a response to the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) recent denial of a petition to reclassify marijuana for medical use. In 2002, the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC) filed a petition, which was denied by the DEA in July 2011. The denial was appealed in January 2012 and just last month the DC Circuit refused to reclassify, instead ruling in favor of the Obama administration's effort to keep medical marijuana out of reach for millions of Americans. The bill also dismantles a cumbersome and often prohibitive research application process for medical marijuana, currently run by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which almost exclusively favors studies on the alleged harmfulness of cannabis. (ASA, Feb. 14)

Graphic: Herbal Remedies

 

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