This bill ― known as the CARERS Act ― would allow people to use medical marijuana in states where it is legal without fear of federal prosecution. It would not legalize medical marijuana at the federal level, but would simply respect the laws of the 29 states plus the District of Columbia and Guam that have legalized medical marijuana.
Marijuana would also be reclassified from a Schedule I to a Schedule II drug in order to recognize its accepted medical use — opening the door for states to set their own policies with respect to medical marijuana.
Doctors working for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would also be able to prescribe marijuana to veterans under their care. Currently, marijuana is not recognized by the VA as a valid treatment option because of federal law, even in states where medical marijuana is legal.
This bill would also modify federal law to allow banks to provide financial services to legal medical marijuana dispensaries that comply with state laws. Cannabidiol — a part of marijuana’s chemistry profile that used to make synthetic marijuana — would be excluded from the definition of marijuana, thus allowing states to determine the status of cannabidiol.
The bill's full title is the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act of 2017.