Back in December, Congress ended a federal ban on medical cannabis. A 1,603-page federal spending bill was passed prohibiting federal agents from raiding medical cannabis vendors. The bill marked the first time Congress had significantly backed cannabis advocates.
In February, two more congressmen filed separate bills to end the U.S. government’s ban on the plant. Colorado’s Jared Polis presented theRegulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act’s schedules, transferring oversight of the substance from the Drug Enforcement Administration over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Bill Piper, a lobbyist with the Drug Policy Alliance stated, “The war on medical marijuana is over,” calling the move historic. “Now the fight moves on to legalization of all marijuana. He adds, “…Congress has been slow to catch up with the states and American people, but it is catching up.”
32 states, plus the District of Columbia, have now legalized cannabis either medicinally or recreationally. The cannabis reform movement has garnered ample progress over the years, though the DEA continues to classify cannabis as a dangerous narcotic. The measure recently passed by congress, which prohibits federal agents from obstructing state cannabis laws, was vetoed half a dozen times prior to recent developments.
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