A debate between U.S. Senate candidates in Colorado, Senator Mark Udall and Representative Corey Gardner, aired Wednesday night on 9 News. Topics covered included the federal governments response to Ebola, women’s rights, and job creation. Then came the inevitable topic of marijuana policy in Colorado. Surprisingly, the candidates actually agreed on this subject.
The debate moderator asked both candidates if Congress should grant Colorado an exemption from the Controlled Substances Act as it applies to marijuana.
This question refers to the fact that cannabis is currently listed, among drugs like heroin, as a Schedule I drug under the United States Controlled Substances Act. Classifications of a Schedule I drug are listed as follows:
- High potential for abuse.
- No accepted use in medical treatment in the United States.
- Lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
First to answer the question, democratic candidate, Senator Mark Udall stated,
“Congress should. I’m working on that. We should do it for a number of reasons. Particularly, the cannabis industry needs access to the banking system. Right now, since marijuana is a Schedule I drug, that access is not available. It’s a public safety hazard, and we will get the job done.”
In agreement, republican candidate, Cory Gardner responded,
“I don’t know that you could specifically do that for Colorado; there are other states that are doing it. But Congress overall has to take a look at the regulatory system to make sure that Colorado is allowed to follow what it passed, and do so in a way that addresses banking issues and other regulatory issues as they arise throughout the entire system.”
This is good news for those businesses in the marijuana industry that are struggling with banking issues and other related problems.
photo credit: Edward the Bonobo, CNN