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Proposed Bill HR 2020 Would Reclassify Marijuana on the Federal Level

Image: medical marijuana, cpr.org
Image: medical marijuana, cpr.org

Two Florida congressmen have proposed a bill that would make it easier for patients and researchers to get medical marijuana by classifying it differently on the federal level.

U.S. Representatives Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) and Darren Soto (D-Orlando) have joined to push for a bipartisan measure that would move cannabis from a Schedule I substance, like heroin or LSD, to a Schedule III substance, like anabolic steroids or Tylenol with codeine.

The federal Controlled Substances Act currently classifies heroin, LSD, Ecstasy and marijuana in the same category, a group of drugs that the DEA says have "no currently accepted medical use."

Gaetz and Soto say the majority of Americans support legalizing medical marijuana, and that HR 2020 would make it easier to research the plant's medical benefits. Soto says, "It's time for the federal government to recognize this emerging law and the well-known medical benefits of marijuana."

But while this bill may align with the will of voters, it seems miles away from what the Trump administration has planned. New Attorney General Jeff Sessions has created a crime reduction task force to review existing policies at the Department of Justice, including how it enforces marijuana laws, and said in March that marijuana was "only slightly less awful" than heroin.

The bill was assigned to a congressional committee for consideration last week.