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Federal: Support the States' Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act

Federal lawmakers have reintroduced legislation to provide for additional and necessary legal protections for state-authorized medical marijuana patients.

House Bill 689, the States' Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, would ensure that medical cannabis patients in states that have approved its use will no longer have to fear arrest or prosecution from federal law enforcement agencies. It states, “No provision of the Controlled Substances Act shall prohibit or otherwise restrict in a State in which marijuana may be prescribed or recommended by a physician for medical use under applicable State law.” 

The measure also calls for an expedited rescheduling review by the federal government to reclassify cannabis from a Schedule I prohibited substance. It states: “Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration shall, based upon the recommendation under paragraph (1), issue a notice of proposed rulemaking for the rescheduling of marijuana within the Controlled Substances Act, which shall include a recommendation to list marijuana as other than a ‘‘Schedule I’’ or ‘‘Schedule II.’’

You can view the full text of this measure here.

Twenty-one states -- Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington -- as well as the District of Columbia have enacted laws protecting medical marijuana patients from state prosecution. Yet in all of these states, patients and providers still face the risk of federal sanction -- even when their actions are fully compliant with state law.

It is time that we allowed our unique federalist system to work the way it was intended. Patients and their state representatives should have the authority to enact laws permitting the medical use of cannabis -- free from federal interference.

Please write your members of Congress today and tell them to stop targeting and prosecuting state-authorized medical marijuana patients and providers. For your convenience, a prewritten letter will be e-mailed to your member of Congress when you enter your contact information below.

Thank you for assisting NORML's federal law reform efforts.


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