I4MC Medical Cannabis Presidential Candidate Questionnaire:
I4MC and voters in Iowa and across the United States would like to know how the presidential candidates are planning to help sick and suffering Americans access medical cannabis, so I4MC has prepared four questions for the candidates. There is a clear distinction between medicinal use of cannabis and recreational marijuana, and a great disservice is done when the two issues are confused. This questionnaire is strictly focused on medical cannabis, so please keep answers related to medicinal use. This issue is important to voters, because health care is one of the top voter election issues, and freedom of health care choices is also a top issue. Numerous credible polls and surveys show Americans in favor of legalization. According to a 2015 Harris Poll for example, four in five adults (81%) favor legalizing cannabis for medical use. http://www.theharrispoll.com/politics/Americans-Ready-for-Legal-Marijuana.html Other polls reflect similar percentages.
1) Acknowledging the vast body of research showing medical value of cannabis, and acknowledging cannabis has been studied more than any other FDA-approved drug, do you feel cannabis is treated unfairly remaining illegal for conditions such as Cancer, MS, Epilepsy and more?
Cannabis has been researched far more than any medical drug, whether FDA-approved or not. Most of the thousands of NIDA-approved studies have been on the side effects, which are well documented. There are over 37 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on efficacy for conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, HIV, glaucoma, Crohn's disease, and more. Whereas about a third of FDA drugs won approval after a single trial.
2) What is your proposed federal policy on medical cannabis and re-scheduling?
If cannabis is re-scheduled to any other DEA classification, doctors could prescribe it and it could be legally researched without barriers. People with qualifying medical conditions in 23 states plus DC have legal access to cannabis for medicinal use, nearly 80% of the population, yet it is still illegal on a federal level. Cannabis is currently listed in the DEA Schedule I in the Controlled Substances Act, a classification for no medicinal value and the highest punishment for use. Cannabis can be re-scheduled executively through the Attorney General's request or congressionally through laws enacted by Congress. Leaving such issue up to the states as some candidates have mentioned doesn’t resolve the federal illegality issue and is irresponsible.
3) What is your proposed Federal policy for removing criminal penalties for people who are trying to treat their illnesses with medical cannabis, risking criminalization, loss of assets, and interstate violations?
4) Do you support the CARERS Act? Why or why not?
The CARERS Act (S. 683) in summary: transfers marijuana from schedule I to schedule II of the CSA, excludes "cannabidiol" from the definition of "marijuana" and defines it separately as the substance cannabidiol, prohibits federal banking interference with state-approved sale of medical cannabis, and removes barriers to research for cannabis that are not imposed on other substances. Read more here https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/683