Compassionate Access





Compassionate Access


The policy being discussed in this essay is the S. 683 legislation that allows for the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes at the federal level. The bill proposed a rescheduling of marijuana to Schedule II. This will permit states to establish their unique medical marijuana policies and allow veterans to receive safe levels of cannabis. For several years, there has been a longstanding debate about the use of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. However, in recent times, both Democrats and Conservatives have come to the agreement that it is unfair to categorize cannabis on the same level as other drugs such as LSD, cocaine and heroin. One of the possible issues with the S.683 policy that allows for the use of medical marijuana by licensed practitioners is that it allows the abuse and addiction by its beneficiaries. The bill permitting medical marijuana also promotes increased consumption of the drug and this can eventually lead to drug trafficking and related crimes.

History and Background

            Regulations concerning medical marijuana have been contentious for several years. While over 23 states including the District of Colombia have legalized the use of the drug for medical purposes. This is a unique situation in that marijuana remains an illegal substance at the federal level. In the 1600s, the state actually encouraged the production of hemp, a key ingredient in the production of marijuana. The influx of Mexican immigrants promoted recreational growth of marijuana and this triggered harsh policies for drug consumption and cultivation such as the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 as well as other similar laws. This was the trend until recently in 1996 when California became the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use.

Outcomes/Stakeholders/Competing Proposals

            The main stakeholders in eth debate for or against the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes include law enforcement agencies, marijuana cultivators, medical practitioners and the state among other minor entities. One of the possible outcomes of the proposed S.683 bill is that it would transform the marijuana business into a legitimate and multi-million dollar industry. A key benefit of passing the bill is that it would forbid banking laws from penalizing individuals or entities linked to cultivating the substance. The proposal has been met with significant opposition within Congress. In the last year’s election on the abovementioned bill to thwart federal interference into legal medical marijuana activities, the vote totaled to 242 against 186. One of the foremost fears was that this decision would facilitate a snowball effect in terms of higher amounts of legal recreational marijuana, a proposal that has met significant opposition from both bureaucrats and voters when compared to medical marijuana. Among the public, there is an equal and significant resistance to the bill. This opposition has been organized in the form of pressure and lobby groups such as Citizens against Legalizing Marijuana (CALM). The church and its members, which contribute a significant number of eligible voters, have also made a strong stand against the bill.


            A pertinent recommendation is to pass the bill that seeks to legalize marijuana fro medical use at the state and federal levels. The sponsors of the most popular bill, Booker and Paul have gone to extreme lengths to confirm that cannabis cannot be categorized on the same level as Schedule I narcotics. The sponsors added that the bill would give states the ability to assist patients using marijuana without fear of the penalties. The bill will set a precedent for other laws that authorize states to legalize medical marijuana.

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