Members of the 116th Congress were sworn in today, and a few wasted no time introducing a bill for medical marijuana reform.
Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Don Young (R-AK) re-introduced the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act. The bill aims to allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies and permit doctors with the Department of Veterans Affairs to prescribe medical marijuana to veterans to treat serious and chronic conditions. It does not address the issue of federal legalization, but embraces the seemingly popular idea on the Hill that states should create their own marijuana policy.
It will be interesting to see how many members cosign onto the bill. With pressure mounting to reschedule cannabis, this bill does not go far enough for most advocates. Still, it is a solid start in the push for better research involving cannabis. There are huge opportunities on the horizon for hemp and marijuana companies looking to create products for patients with chronic diseases and serious ailments.