A bill to legalize medical marijuana is being introduced in the Congress, one that would eliminate confusion surrounding federal policy on pot and pave the way for the FDA to legalize all medicinal marijuana.
The bill was introduced by Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon. The bill has 13 co-sponsors including Republican Dana Rohrbacher of California and would block the federal government from interfering in the 19 states where medicinal marijuana is already legal.
Blumenauer said the medical marijuana bill is meant to eliminate confusion surrounding federal pot policy, Politico noted.
“Frankly, the people in the federal hierarchy are in an impossible position,” Blumenauer said, adding: “It gets the federal government and the Department of Justice out of this never-never land.”
The bill comes after Colorado and Washington voted last November to legalize marijuana.
Though political experts think that while Blumenauer’s medical marijuana bill has a slim chance of passage, there is a growing momentum toward legalization. From Politico:
“Blumenauer’s bill isn’t likely to pass, but Americans for Safe Access Policy Director Mike Liszewski said bills in four states — New Hampshire, Illinois, New York and Maryland — have a chance of becoming law this year. In New Hampshire, where backers fell just a few votes short of overriding a governor’s veto last year, advocates are ‘really confident.’ The state’s new governor, Democrat Maggie Hassan, supported medical marijuana as a state legislator.”
The medical marijuana bill also comes as supporters of legalization have grown more vocal in their criticism of the federal government’s approach. This fall the federal government made a push to close medical marijuana dispensaries in California, the New York Times noted.