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Matt Gaetz, Darren Soto Want to Change How Federal Government Classifies Marijuana

April 10, 2017 - 10:00am
Matt Gaetz and Darren Soto
Matt Gaetz and Darren Soto

Two congressional freshmen from the Sunshine State teamed up last week to change how marijuana is classified at the federal level. 

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., paired up with U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., to offer a proposal changing how marijuana is scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act. Currently, marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug much as heroin, LSD and other harder drugs are. Under Gaetz’s and Soto’s proposal, marijuana would be moved over to a Schedule III drug which are generally less harmful. Currently, some stimulants, depressants and steroids are included as Schedule III drugs. 

Noting that medical marijuana laws are increasingly being adopted across the nation, Gaetz said the time has come for the federal government to change how marijuana is scheduled. 

“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,” Gaetz said when he brought out the bill last week. “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.”

Soto noted that Florida passed Amendment 2, which expanded medical marijuana use in the Sunshine State, last year and urged the federal government to get on board with medical marijuana.  

“Floridians have spoken and medical marijuana is the law of the land,” Soto said. “It's now time for the federal government to recognize this emerging law and the well-known medical benefits of marijuana.”

The bill was sent to both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Judiciary Committee last week. So far, the two Florida congressmen have yet to round up any additional co-sponsors. There is currently no related bill over in the Senate. 



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Interesting that Gaetz mentioned pain, even as Florida's​Lawmakers failed to include it in the implementation of A2. While they want to give DFAF a half million taxpayers dollars to continue anti-cannabis propaganda. As they totally fail on implementation of A2.

It is time our Congress decides whether or not to change the Federal Law schedule category for marijuana.

It's Time!

It is funny how politicians propose things to try to be on the front end of something politically big. It would be nice if they actually proposed something because it is the right thing to do for people. Incidentally, there have been hundreds of studies on the medicinal benefits of THC. Ask any doctor. The legislature is not proposing spending millions more of our hard earned tax dollars on their own studies for our benefit, they are trying to be obstructionists, as usual. The people have spoken fools. Sad thing is there actually people like Barney boy that either believe them, or are such good, party sheep that they fall in line behind the story... Probably the latter,,,

I agree that marijuana should no longer be a Class I drug...the reason is so that scientific research can begin on this product to ascertain whether in fact, it has any medicinal purposes...the research will take years to accomplish, but the sooner we begin, the sooner we'll know the answers that everyone is looking for...thankfully, Sen. Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) and Rep. Jackie Toledo (R-Tampa) are proposing millions of dollars so that Florida can become the first state to begin research on marijuana...we need this type of federal legislation to begin the process!

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