Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) issued the following statement after the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced new regulatory decisions regarding the use of medical marijuana.

“I commend the DEA for their decision to allow more institutions to cultivate marijuana for medical research, a provision included in the bipartisan CARERS Act that would make fair and compassionate updates to federal medical marijuana policies.

“But the DEA hasn’t gone far enough. While this announcement is a step in the right direction, the DEA’s failure to reclassify marijuana is disappointing. There are Americans who can realize real medical benefits if this treatment option is brought out of the shadows, and choosing to ignore the medical value of marijuana defies common sense and the scientific evidence. Currently, 25 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws supporting its medical use, and it’s time that federal policy caught up.” 

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act, introduced in March 2015 by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Booker would reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I to Schedule II drug to recognize it has accepted medical use, and would amend federal law to allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies. The bill would also permit VA doctors to prescribe veterans medical marijuana to treat serious injuries and chronic conditions. The legislation would not legalize medical marijuana in all 50 states; rather, it would respect the states that set their own medical marijuana programs and prevents federal law enforcement from prosecuting patients, doctors and caregivers in those states.