Skip to Content
Home / news / Press Releases

Press Releases

Congressman Don Young Continues to Lead on Reforming Federal Cannabis Policy, Co-Leads Landmark Legalization Legislation

Washington, D.C. Congressional Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs Congressmen Don Young (AK-AL) and Dave Joyce (OH-14) have introduced the Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses and Medical Professionals Act. This important legislation aims to responsibly reform the federal government’s outdated and ineffective cannabis policy.

“For too long, the federal government's outdated cannabis policies have stood in the way of both individual liberty and a state's 10th Amendment rights.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.”

“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 Congressman Dave 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.”

Commenting on the introduction of the new bill, NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said, “It is our hope that more congressional Republicans will follow the lead of Representatives Joyce and Young, as well as the American people, in supporting a repeal of the failed and senseless policy of federal marijuana criminalization by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act.”

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.

###

Connect With Don