Medical marijuana is receiving support from a wide range of unexpected leaders and groups. Recently, top presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, expressed positive views toward the legalization of medical cannabis.
Additionally, according to a June 6 Quinnipiac Poll, over 89 percent of individuals based in the United States also support the plant on a medicinal level.
Both frontrunners were very careful with their statements on issues currently towering over the legal cannabis industry. Clinton believes that marijuana laws should be implemented on a state-by-state basis. Trump, who supported the herb recreationally at one point, also reverted to state-level legalization. Statewide implementation is considered to be a “safe stance,” compared to legalization across all 50 states on a federal level through the rescheduling of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II.
“Marijuana is such a big thing. I think medical should happen — right? Don’t we agree?” said Trump during an interview with the Washington Post in 2015. “And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states.”
“I think what the states are doing right now needs to be supported,” said the former First Lady during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel earlier this year. “I absolutely support all the states that are moving toward medical marijuana, moving toward.”
If medical marijuana laws continue to roll out state-by-state, individuals should expect a slow unraveling of new guidelines in the next five to seven years. The main issue with state level implementation is uniformity. For example, patients traveling from region to region may have a difficult time adhering to legislative changes in every state they encounter.
Supporting legalization across all 50 states through the reclassification of cannabis is the CARES (Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respects) Act. The bill, which was introduced in Senate last year, is designed to protect both patients and medical marijuana business owners. With focus on the latter group, the proposal specifically aims to regulate the actions of federal banking institutions by limiting their assertiveness over mainstream financial services. Under the bill, a federal banking regulator is prohibited from terminating, penalizing or discouraging a cannabis-related establishment from participating in deposits, payments, loans and other financial services. It will also streamline CBD measures by removing the cannabis compound from the schedule of harmful substances.
In March, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) signed on as a co-sponsor for the bill. This was also the same period the group celebrated the one-year anniversary of the proposal, from the time it was introduced by Senators Cory Booker (D-NY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rand Paul (R-KY).
Unfortunately, the bill is creating friction in the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee, due to opposition from Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). “Senator Grassley believes the government has to ensure both public safety and the effectiveness of drugs available for patients,” explained Spokeswoman Jill Gerger in a written statement.