Concerned citizens, Americans for Safe Access members gather on Capitol Hill to rally for CARERS Act
National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference attendees, joined by members of Americans for Safe Access will hold a Tuesday, April 11 rally on Capitol Hill urging Congress to pass legislation that would protect users of medical cannabis who comply with state laws from unwarranted federal prosecution.
Advocates will be asking Congress to pass state protections through an amendment on the next appropriations bill for FY 2018, similar to the Rohrabacher-Farr and Mikulski amendments. The current amendment, which prohibits funds from being made available to the Department of Justice to be used to interfere with states complying with their own laws regarding the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical cannabis, was included in a short-term spending bill passed by Congress in 2016, but the most recent extension expires April 28, 2017.Advocates will also be supporting H.R. 1227 – Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017 introduced by freshman Representative Tom Garrett (R-VA) which effectively decriminalizes cannabis at the Federal level, allowing patients who use medical cannabis in states where it is legal to receive physician recommended treatment without fear of federal prosecution.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 11, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm ET
WHERE: United States Capitol Grounds Demonstration Area 10, Washington DC.
- Steph Sherer – Americans for Safe Access
- Sebastien Cotte – Parent Advocate, Georgia
- Christine Stenquist – Patient Advocate, Utah
- Nichole Snow – Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance
- Patrick Seifert – Veteran Advocate, Washington
Forty-four states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam have passed laws which grant their residents the right to possess, cultivate, and/or obtain cannabis or cannabis-based products under the care of their physician.
Despite the more than 89 percent of Americans who think that cannabis should be made legal, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently took a hardline stance against medical cannabis. Sessions said that he was “astonished” to hear that legalizing cannabis could solve America’s heroin crisis. Yet, in states where medical cannabis is legal, 25 percent fewer people die from opioid overdoses annually.
At the same time, the CJS amendment, commonly referred to as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which prohibits the Department of Justice from using any funds to interfere in state medical cannabis programs and bars ongoing federal cases, expires April 28th. If it is not renewed patients, caregivers, doctors, and industry workers abiding by their state’s medical cannabis law will no longer be protected from federal prosecution.