Three U.S. senators introduced legislation Tuesday that would remove federal penalties associated with medical marijuana.
"Highly-trained officials in our country -- doctors and scientists, medical personnel -- are unable to prescribe and recommend drugs that could alleviate the pain and suffering of their patients," said U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).
"Today we join together to say enough is enough," he added. "Our federal government has long overstepped the boundaries of common sense, fiscal prudence and compassion with its marijuana laws."
In addition to reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule II drug from Schedule I, the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act would allow for the production and distribution of marijuana for medicinal purposes as long as it falls in line with state laws. Twenty-three states, including Illinois, have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
The law, if passed, would also pave the way for the research of marijuana for medicinal purposes as well as use of the substance in health care. The legislation would also allow financial institutions to provide banking opportunities to medical marijuana businesses and give military vets access to the drug in states that it is legal.
The bill was also introduced by U.S. Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).