Rep. Young Co-Sponsors Pot Bill to Let States Decide

Alaska Congressman Don Young has co-sponsored a bill to end the federal ban on medical marijuana in states that have chosen to make it legal.

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The bill would also allow VA doctors to recommend marijuana use to their patients and require the government to start issuing marijuana research licenses.

Young said in a written statement that he considers both medical and recreational marijuana a matter of states’ rights.

The bill is known as the CARERS Act, an acronym of “Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States.” Its prime House sponsor is Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn. It is the twin of a Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. The legislation could give marijuana entrepreneurs an alternative to operating in an all-cash environment. In states that allow marijuana commerce, the bill would allow those businesses to use banks, without subjecting the banks to charges of money laundering.

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Liz Ruskin covers Alaska issues in Washington as the network's D.C. correspondent. She was born in Anchorage and is a West High grad. She has degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. She previously worked at the Homer News, the Anchorage Daily News and the Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers. She also freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013. She's @lruskin on Twitter. She welcomes your news tips at lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz

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