Congressional Researchers Identify Challenges Caused By Federal Marijuana Prohibition Ahead Of House Legalization Vote

Congressional Researchers Identify Challenges Caused By Federal Marijuana Prohibition Ahead Of House Legalization Vote
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As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to vote on a bill to federally legalize marijuana this week, congressional researchers have released a report detailing the challenges posed by ongoing federal prohibition and the options that lawmakers have available to address them. The House is set to take up the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act from Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) for the second time in history this week, following a Rules Committee hearing on proposed amendments that’s scheduled for Wednesday. While the bill touches on a wide range of issues—including tax policy and social equity—the new report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) focuses specifically on the impacts of having cannabis listed as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). “The Schedule I status of marijuana means that the substance is strictly regulated by federal authorities,” CRS said. “Yet, over the last several decades, most states and territories have deviated from across-the-board prohibition of marijuana, and now have laws and policies allowing for some cultivation, sale, distribution, and possession of marijuana.” The report goes on to list various challenges presented by the ongoing federal prohibition on marijuana amid the state-level legalization movement:  Because marijuana is federally criminalized, universities are reluctant to allow cannabis research at their facilities, “because doing so may put them at risk of losing federal funds,” the report says. While there’s federal guidance in place for financial institutions that choose to work with state-legal cannabis businesses, the report notes that many banks and credit unions “remain reluctant to openly enter into relationships.” As noted by federal officials, lawmakers and scientists alike, the Schedule I status of cannabis has “created difficulty for researchers who seek to study marijuana” by erecting onerous barriers that have inhibited studies into the potential risks and…

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Source : Congressional Researchers Identify Challenges Caused By Federal Marijuana Prohibition Ahead Of House Legalization Vote

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