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Congressional Committee Will Vote On Removing Marijuana As Barrier To Federal Employment Or Security Clearances

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A congressional committee next week will vote on a bill to protect people from being denied federal employment or security clearances due to marijuana use—and to provide relief for people who lost opportunities due to cannabis in the past.

The House Oversight and Accountability Committee will hold a markup on the legislation, the Cannabis Users’ Restoration of Eligibility (CURE) Act, on Wednesday, Chairman James Comer (R-KY) announced late Friday.

“Every year, qualified and dedicated individuals seeking to serve our country are unable to secure federal jobs and security clearances because the federal government has not caught up with the widely established legal use of medical and recreational cannabis,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the bill’s lead sponsor, said when he filed the measure in July.

The change “will eliminate the draconian, failed and obsolete marijuana policies that prevent talented individuals from becoming honorable public servants in their own government,” he said.

A separate cannabis bill, meanwhile, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, is scheduled for consideration a week later, on September 27, in a Senate panel.

Raskin’s employment and security clearance bill says that “current or past use of marijuana by a covered person may not be used in

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Senators Push VA To Create Medical Marijuana ‘Standard Of Care’ As Rescheduling Process Finishes

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A group of nine U.S. senators is calling on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to “expeditiously” develop a standard of care for veterans using medical marijuana and allow the department’s doctors to recommend cannabis to patients in light of the Biden administration’s proposal to reclassify the drug.

In a letter led by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) that was sent to VA Secretary Denis McDonough on Friday, the coalition said that the Justice Department’s proposal to move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) necessitates a reevaluation of the department’s own marijuana policies.

This comes just a week after a Senate committee approved a relevant amendment to a large-scale spending bill sponsored by Merkley that would allow VA doctors to discuss and recommend medical marijuana to patients living in legal states.

Given that the administration is moving to reschedule cannabis, “we urge the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) to expeditiously produce a VA-approved standard of care for medical cannabis,” the senators wrote. “We also strongly recommend issuing clear guidance allowing and preparing Veterans Health Administration (VHA) providers to discuss, recommend, and assist patients in qualifying for enrollment in state-legal medical cannabis programs following

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Bipartisan Lawmakers Seek To Remove Marijuana Rescheduling Ban From Key Spending Bill

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Bipartisan congressional lawmakers are seeking to remove a controversial section of a spending bill that would block the Justice Department from rescheduling marijuana—one of several cannabis- and psychedelics-related amendments to appropriations legislation that have been filed in recent days.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) announced on Wednesday that she introduced the amendment to strike the rescheduling restriction that’s currently included in the 2025 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) spending bill.

In a video filmed with cannabis lobbyist Don Murphy at the Republican National Committee (RNC) convention, Mace said that “we want to make sure rescheduling happens,” even if her preference would be to fully deschedule marijuana as would be accomplished under her States Reform Act.

“We’re doing all we can,” the congresswoman said.

If you think #cannabis (Schedule 3) isn’t being discussed on the floor of the RNC convention, you’d be wrong. @RepNancyMace pic.twitter.com/qAiaU3226e

— Don Murphy (@donmurphy12a) July 18, 2024

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) also introduced an amendment to the CJS measure that would similarly strike the scheduling restriction section, which was adopted by the House Appropriations Committee earlier this month. That GOP-led panel also rejected a separate amendment to remove the section.

GOP senators have separately tried

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DeSantis’s Marijuana Opposition Campaign In Florida Raises Just $10,000 As Pro-Legalization Committee Rakes In Tens Of Millions

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) recently launched political action committee opposing a marijuana legalization ballot initiative has so far raised only $10,000—just 1/6,000th of the amount of money that’s poured into the effort to pass the cannabis measure.

As of last week, the DeSantis “Florida Freedom Fund” has only raised $10,000 in contributions—all coming from a former Republican congressman representing Pennsylvania, campaign finance records from the Division of Elections records show. By contrast, the Smart & Safe Florida campaign behind the marijuana initiative has raised over $60 million.

Of course, the PAC founded by the governor only launched in May, whereas the cannabis campaign has been active since late 2022. Even so, the early numbers seem to signal a lack of enthusiasm among prospective donors about supporting the effort to derail marijuana legalization, as well as an abortion rights proposal that the DeSantis committee is also seeking to defeat.

Former U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA), the DeSantis committee’s sole donor—voted against numerous amendment in Congress to shield state marijuana laws from federal interference. He also opposed measures on cannabis banking and to allow Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana.

The campaign finance data was first reported by

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