Medical Marijuana Bill Aims to Fight Jeff Sessions' Renewed War on Drugs

Medical Marijuana Bill Aims to Fight Jeff Sessions’ Renewed War on Drugs

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Credit: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg/Getty A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced a bill on Thursday that would allow state medical marijuana laws to supersede the current federal prohibition on weed. The bill is dubbed the CARERS Act, which stands for the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act. "The fact is our marijuana laws in America are broken," Democratic Sen. Cory Booker said at the bill’s unveiling at the Capitol. "They are savagely broken, and the jagged pieces are hurting American people." The legislation would allow the varying laws legalizing some form of medical marijuana in 30 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam to stand. When it was introduced in 2015 it was the first ever medical marijuana bill introduced in the U.S. Senate. But times have changed since then. For one, back then the bill only had three original sponsors: Booker, Democratic Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand and Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who has long supported medical marijuana as part if his libertarian platform. Now it has six, adding Democratic Sen. Steve Cohen and Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mike Lee. The other big change from 2015: Donald Trump now occupies the Oval Office. While running for president Trump said marijuana laws should be decided at the state level, but then he tapped marijuana-hating Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general. It just came to light that Sessions privately sent a letter to congressional leaders in May asking them to undo a provision in federal law that bars his Justice Department from going after legal marijuana businesses. "I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime," Sessions penned. "The Department must […]

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