Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has joined with Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) to propose legislation that would move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act. The bipartisan pair are citing the evolving national mood on marijuana, as well as the need to ease restrictions on research related to the substance.
The following is statement from Gaetz’s office:
WASHINGTON – Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz and Democratic Congressman Darren Soto have joined forces in a bipartisan effort to make it easier for ill-patients and scientific and medical researchers to obtain marijuana.
The proposed legislation, “to provide for the rescheduling of marijuana into schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act”, is aimed at rescheduling marijuana from a Schedule I drug, on par with heroin and LSD, to a Schedule III drug, on par with anabolic steroids.
The majority of states have already taken steps towards marijuana legalization. Currently, 28 states including Guam, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, have all passed laws legalizing marijuana to some extent under broad support. Recent polling suggest 93% of Americans support legalizing doctor-prescribed medical marijuana. Rescheduling makes it easier to conduct research into marijuana’s medical uses with lighter regulation.
The benefits of rescheduling marijuana would benefit local economies. Small businesses in the marijuana industry would finally have the legal ability to meet the needs of patients. Legal status would lead to more businesses receiving loans and banking services from financial institutions.
“This drug should not be in the same category as heroin and LSD, and we do not need to continue with a policy that turns thousands of young people into felons every year. Nor do we need to punish the millions of people who are sick and seeking medical help – from pain, from muscle wasting, from chemotherapy-induced nausea” said Congressman Gaetz.
“Floridians have spoken and Medical Marijuana is the law of the land. It’s now time for the federal government to recognize this emerging law and the well-known medical benefits of marijuana” said Congressman Soto.
The proposed legislation was introduced on the House Floor on Thursday, April 6, 2017 in the U.S. House of Representatives.