Kirsten Gillibrand, Rand Paul, and Cory Booker will introduce a Senate bill to legalize medical marijuana under federal law (today), various outlets are reporting. This bill would mark an unprecedented push to legalize medical use drug on a federal level. We've seen a handful of states (and the nation's capital) legalize recreational marijuana over the last two years, and about half the states have a medical marijuana program, but the proposal — called the "Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act" — would be the widest attempt at legalization yet.
You know what's been happening in Texas and other states, but obviously federal law -- which ceased being enforced at the end of last year -- would trump efforts to slam on the brakes. As with Obamacare and gay marriage, regressive conservatives would have to shift their focus from prohibition to repeal. From the WaPo, linked above:
The proposal will be unveiled at a 12:30 p.m. (Eastern) press conference on Tuesday, which will be streamed live here. Patients, their families and advocates will join the senators at the press conference.
We'll see how fast the bill moves, but I never thought I'd see the day. Without the organized Christianist objection movement that marriage equality has spawned, I would expect to see passage and then few if any court challenges after the fact. To be resolved in the (perhaps hastening) future would be decriminalizing possession by those without medical conditions, and at some point, something that comes close to unfettered legalization.
That would be real progress, but today counts as a big step in the right direction.