Bipartisan Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana Introduced in Congress


Republicans Ron Paul (TX) and Dana Rohrabacher (CA), along with Democrats Barney Frank (MA), Janice Schakowsky (IL) and 21 co-sponsors reintroduced legislation today in Congress that permits the use of medicinal marijuana by seriously ill patients.

The "States' Rights to Medical Marijuana: bill reschedules marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II under federal law so that physicians may legally prescribe it in states that have legalized the medical use of marijuana under state law. It also permits state legislatures that wish to establish medical marijuana distribution systems the legal authority to do so.

This legislation ... effectively gets the federal government out of the way of those states that wish to regulate marijuana as a medicine. Since 1996, eight states Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington have enacted laws allowing patients to possess and use marijuana medicinally under a doctor's supervision.

Passage of the bill would halt federal prosecution of medicinal marijuana patients and their providers in states where the use of physician-approved pot is legal. Since the Bush Administration took office, federal drug enforcement officials have taken action against more than 35 medicinal marijuana patients, cooperatives and providers in California alone.

The "States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act" is the second medical marijuana bill introduced in Congress this year.

In April, Congressmen Sam Farr (D-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), and Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced H.R. 1717, the "Truth in Trials Act," which would allow medicinal marijuana patients and providers charged under federal law to introduce evidence at trial that their use of marijuana was for medicinal purposes and/or in accordance with state law. Currently, federal judges will not allow such evidence into testimony because Congress has never determined that marijuana has medical value.

To voice your support for the bill, go here. This action page contains a list of the many co-sponsors of the bill.

If your member of Congress is a co-sponsor, please thank them for their support. If not, please take two minutes to send a pre-written letter to your Congressman, asking them to co-sponsor and support the States’ Rights to Medical Marijuana Act.

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