The White House and Democrats are trying to pass a bill in Congress this week that would increase the federal government’s access to medical marijuana, but it could be a fight before the bill comes to a vote.
In addition to making the drug legal for medical use in states that have already legalized it, the bill would also allow states to grow the plants and distribute them.
Currently, only five states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana.
This bill would allow states, which are not yet permitted to sell marijuana, to grow and distribute medical marijuana for the first time.
It would also establish a task force to review the current medical marijuana program and to create a mechanism for Congress to provide appropriations to the Department of Health and Human Services to support the development and implementation of the new program.
“This is an important piece of legislation to have,” said Sen. Tom Udall, a Democrat from New Mexico who is the ranking member on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
A Senate subcommittee will also hold a hearing Wednesday to examine how to best distribute marijuana in the United States.
The House is expected to vote on the bill on Monday.
Read more about the fight over medical marijuana in Colorado here: