Joyce Continues to Lead the Effort to Responsibly Reform Outdated Federal Cannabis Policies

Introduces the Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses and Medical Professionals Act

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) introduced the Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses and Medical Professionals Act alongside his fellow Co-Chair of the Cannabis Caucus, Congressman Don Young (AK-At Large). This important legislation aims to responsibly reform the federal government’s outdated and ineffective cannabis policy.

“With more than 40 States taking action on this issue, it’s past time for Congress to recognize that continued cannabis prohibition is neither tenable nor the will of the American electorate,” said Joyce. “My legislation answers the American people’s call for change and addresses our States’ need for clarity by creating an effective federal regulatory framework for cannabis that will help veterans, support small businesses and their workers, allow for critical research and tackle the opioid crisis, all while respecting the rights of States to make their own decisions regarding cannabis policies that are best for their constituents. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this bill signed into law so that we can enact sensible and meaningful cannabis reform that will improve lives and livelihoods.”

“For too long, the federal government’s outdated cannabis policies have stood in the way of both individual liberty and a state’s 10th Amendment rights. It is long past time that these archaic laws are updated for the 21st Century,” said Congressman Don Young. “As Co-Chair of the Cannabis Caucus and Representative of a state with legal adult-use cannabis, I am proud to help introduce the Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses, and Medical Professionals Act. This bill takes significant steps to modernize our laws by removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and allowing the VA to prescribe medical cannabis to veterans, in addition to finally permitting state-legal cannabis businesses to utilize traditional financial services. I want to thank my friend, Congressman Dave Joyce, for his leadership on this issue. I call on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand with us in this crucial effort.”

Through his work with the Cannabis Caucus and his position on the House Appropriations Committee, Joyce has helped lead the effort to reform the federal government’s outdated approach to cannabis and protect the rights of states across the country, like Ohio, that have voted to implement responsible cannabis policies. Specifically, the Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses and Medical Professionals Act, which has been applauded by several organizations, would:

  • Remove cannabis from the Federal Controlled Substances Act.
  • Direct the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to issue rules to regulate cannabis modeled after the alcohol industry within one year of enactment.
  • Create a federal preemption to protect financial institutions and other businesses in non-cannabis legal states so that they can service cannabis companies.
  • Allow the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to prescribe medical cannabis to veterans.
  • Direct the National Institutes of Health to conduct two studies on cannabis as it pertains to pain management and cannabis impairment and report to Congress within two years of enactment.

“It is incredibly encouraging to see Republican leadership to end the federal prohibition and criminalization of cannabis,” said Steven W. Hawkins, Interim President & CEO of the U.S. Cannabis Council. “Cannabis reform is truly a bipartisan matter ripe for immediate solution. The USCC thanks Representative Dave Joyce for his work and looks forward to supporting the ‘Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses, and Medical Professionals Act.’”

“We applaud Rep. Joyce’s leadership on pragmatic cannabis legislation that reduces barriers to entry for cannabis businesses, provides access to capital markets and introduces a structure of tax fairness for the industry,” said Wendy Bronfein, Chair of the National Medicinal Cannabis Coalition. “We look forward to working together on this important legislation.”

“NCR applauds Congressman Joyce’s continued leadership of cannabis reform. We welcome the opportunity to work through this legislation with him as we have a shared goal – that is, allowing the already $18B US cannabis industry to continue to grow as a driver of job creation and economic opportunity for all Americans.” – National Cannabis Roundtable

NORML PAC Endorses Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Blumenauer And Young

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Political Action Committee (NORML-PAC) has announced their endorsements of Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Don Young (R-AK) in their reelection campaigns. Blumenauer and Young serve as lead co-chairs of the Cannabis Caucus in the House of Representatives.

“Representative Earl Blumenauer has been supporting sensible marijuana law reform longer than anyone currently serving in the House of Representatives. He cast a vote in favor of decriminalization in Oregon in the 1970’s as a member of the state legislator and has been one of the leading champions for ending our failed prohibition on marijuana at the federal level since he was first elected to Congress,” commented NORML PAC Executive Director Erik Altieri, “It is our honor to support his reelection in 2018 and supporters of marijuana law reform couldn’t ask for a better ally to have in the arena.”

young-blumenauer-pac

“Representative Don Young has shown how truly bipartisan marijuana law reform efforts can be by his leadership as a co-chair of the House Congressional Cannabis Caucus,” said NORML PAC Executive Director Erik Altieri, “Alaska voters should send him to Congress for another term so he can continue to advocate for federal reform and help convince more of his colleagues in the Republican Party to join the fight against the outdated and failed policy of prohibition.”

The Congressional Cannabis Caucus was formed in 2017 to develop and promote sensible cannabis policy reform and work to ease the tension between federal and state cannabis laws.


For more information, contact NORML PAC at (202) 483-5500.

What Medical Cannabis Could Look Like For Our Veterans Forum

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  In recent months, Americans nationwide have been faced with a startling awakening regarding opioid related overdoses and deaths. State legislatures and Congress alike are desperately seeking measures today that will address this unfolding epidemic. Meanwhile, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs is tasked with addressing near epidemic levels of not only Opioid related overdoses, but also opioid related suicides by America’s elite fighting forces and valued community of veterans.

“Within the US one person every 20 minutes dies of either an accidental and or intentional overdose to prescription pain medication. Doing the math that’s 3 every hour, 72 a day and so forth. It has been reported that our Veterans are overdosing at twice the rate of civilians….in other words 2 of the 3 causalities within the above hour time frame are Veterans,” says Jeffery Staker, a Marine veteran, DOD Firefighter, and founder of Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis.

In a joint effort to address and cull this epidemic, several members of the Veteran Affairs Staff, the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, and Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis have aligned to attend an intimate educational forum with the nations’ leading physicians. The forum will be held September 13th, from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. at the Rayburn House Office Building, Gold Room, RM #2168.

“With veterans representing 7% percent of the American population, yet accounting for 20 percent of the national suicide rate, these numbers are unacceptable, and it is ‘all hands-on deck’ for all Americans to learn together and do more for those who selflessly serve our country,” said Brandon L. Wyatt, attorney and Army disabled combat veteran.

“We are excited to partner with the country’s top medical minds Donald Abrams, MD; Ziva D Cooper, PhD; Darryl Hudson, PhD; Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, MSH, CARN; and Jordan Tishler, MD; to raise awareness of the veterans’ suicide epidemic, explore arduous drug policies, and engage leaders in the government sector to professionally explore safer medical alternatives, in hopes to save lives every day,” said Staker, forum organizer.

“Veterans from all 50 states and US territories have fought tirelessly for freedom, in an academic setting, we are honored to address our injuries to continue to be of service to All Americans with the sincere hope of ending the opioid crisis”, Wyatt noted.

Joining the forum will be top Veteran advocate groups from across the country to include: Veterans Cannabis Group, Marijuana for Trauma, Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis and Operation EVAC, along with the Veteran founded cannabis educational organization Patients Out of Time.

To RSVP Contact Hoosier Veterans For Medical Cannabis: hoosiervetsformc@gmail.com