WASHINGTON — Proposed legislation from one Memphis lawmaker would allow patients access to medical marijuana in states where it is legal without fear of prosecution from the federal government.
It’s called the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act. While it wouldn’t make medical marijuana legal in all 50 states, it would change federal law to respect the laws of the states in which cannabis for medical purposes is legal.
This means that doctors, patients and caregivers in those states would not be prosecuted federally if they were to utilize medical marijuana in their treatment plans. It would also allow doctors at local VA hospitals to prescribe medical marijuana to veterans if needed to treat serious and chronic conditions.
“The national consensus on medical marijuana is solid and bipartisan, but our federal drug laws continue to treat patients and their doctors like criminals. Our bill would bring federal medical marijuana policy in line with the views of the overwhelming majority of Americans by allowing states to set their own marijuana laws, allowing patients, including veterans, to receive the treatments they need from their doctors and improving opportunities for research on marijuana,” said Congressman Steve Cohen.
Cohen and Congressman Don Young of Alaska introduced the bipartisan legislation on Thursday.