A recent press release issued by the Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz and Democratic Congressman Darren Soto announces that they are proposing legislation, “to provide for the rescheduling of marijuana into schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act”.
This bill is aimed at rescheduling marijuana from a Schedule I drug, which places weed at the same level as heroin and LSD, to a Schedule III drug, which will put it in the same class as anabolic steroids.
“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.
Gaetz recently had an interview with The Cannabist, where he explained that this lower level of classification would uphold the rights of states that have legalized the medical use of cannabis, allow for banking activities, and create an open path for researchers. “I have supported cannabis reform as a state legislator,” Gaetz said, “…and I want to see the people that I fought for in my state have access to a legal, high-quality product that’s been well-researched,”
Interestingly, Gaetz used to be opposed to medical cannabis bills, until he began watching Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN special report, “Weed“, which chronicled the stories of medical marijuana patients and the challenges of medical research.
After watching the series, Gaetz said he thought that “somebody should do something about that.”
“Until, I realized I could do that,” he said.
Gaetz and Soto also teamed up to write guest column for Northwest Florida Daily News titled ‘Medical pot issue crosses party lines‘ where they speak about how the importance of this proposed legislation overrides their individual political party affiliation;
‘Though it is, unfortunately, unusual in Washington for Republicans and Democrats to work together towards commonsense reform, we will find a way. We are proud to have introduced new legislation to “provide for the rescheduling of marijuana into schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act”, in recognition of its medical benefits.’