The constitutional authority of Congress to protect medical marijuana state rights from federal authorities is also known as “the power of the purse.” This literally keeps the DOJ from spending tax dollars to prosecute federal laws in states that have chosen to legalize.
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While the Senate included a no prosecution amendment in this year’s budget, the House did not, leaving it up to a conference committee to see if the amendment stands.
If it falls, cannabusinesses stand to fall with it and countless medical marijuana patients will be without their medicine, including cancer and AIDS patients.
Studies have shown that when deprived of their medical marijuana, many patients turn back to the opiates they took before they had cannabis to ease the pain. In the midst of an opioid epidemic, this is the last thing our government should want.
Infuriatingly, Sessions continues to try linking the opioid crisis to marijuana as the gateway drug. All studies and anecdotal evidence, however, point to cannabis easing opiate withdrawals and easing opioid users off the highly addictive pills and bags.
And despite being seen as a lefty issue, there are plenty of congresspeople and citizens on both sides of the aisle who support marijuana, both medically and legally. For instance, ten out of the 29 medical states went red for Trump in 2016.
Around 62 percent of our nation’s population lives in a state that has some sort of protective marijuana laws. Nationally, nearly three quarters of Americans – over 60 percent of whom are republicans – oppose the feds interfering with the laws the people voted in. Add that to the whopping 94 percent who believe that if your doctor recommends it, you should be able to have it and there you have it: the tides have certainly turned.
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Every drug out there under federal law is “scheduled,” with Schedule I being reserved for drugs with high potential for abuse and no accepted medical value. This is where cannabis lives for the moment and it simply doesn’t make sense any longer.
Aside from becoming normalized on the national and international stages, there is more than enough evidence, doctors, nurses and patients to attest to marijuana’s medicinal value. It’s shown itself to prevent abuse when faced with the opioid crisis and, as any pot smoker will tell you, its potential for abuse is laughable. “Oh no! Louie got too high and ate all the cookies!” will never be a 911 call, at least one that doesn’t go viral.