Congressional Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs Introduce Federal Reform Legislation

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<![CDATA[A pair of House Republicans aren’t holding their horses on cannabis reform activity in the Senate. Reps. Dave Joyce, R-Ohio, and Don Young, R-Alaska, introduced a bill May 12—the “Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses and Medical Professionals Act”— that would remove cannabis from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act.In addition, the legislation would also protect depository institutions that provide financial services to “legitimate” cannabis-related businesses; provide safe harbor for veterans to use, possess or transport medical cannabis in compliance with state laws; and direct two studies on cannabis as it pertains to pain management and impairment through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to the bill’s text. Joyce and Young’s efforts come as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and fellow Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., continue to work on drafting a federal reform bill to end prohibition in the upper chamber. They released a joint statement regarding their comprehensive reform efforts in February but have yet to introduce the measure. Comprehensive cannabis reform took hold in the House last Congress via the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which would have removed cannabis as a Scheduled I controlled substance and eliminated criminal penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes or possesses cannabis. While it passed the House last year, 228-164, the bill never advanced in the Republican-controlled Senate. The chief sponsor of the MORE Act, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., plans to reintroduce the 87-page legislation this Congress, he said during a House Judiciary Subcommittee meeting in March. In the meantime, Joyce and Young introduced their bill Wednesday. The 14-page legislation isn’t as long-winded but puts the removal of cannabis as a controlled substance, banking protection, reform for veterans and mandated NIH studies at the forefront. It does…

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