Columbus – Today, Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) commented on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to allow federal prosecutors to enforce the federal marijuana prohibition in states that have legalized its production and sale.

“This is a terrible decision that could harm many Americans who benefit from medical marijuana,” said Senator Yuko. “I again urge Congress to pass legislation to reschedule marijuana to a less restrictive category. The families of sick children who have used this product know how important it is and it is time the federal government stops viewing marijuana as dangerous.”

Marijuana is currently a Schedule I drug alongside substances such as heroin. Other highly addictive drugs like oxycodone are listed as Schedule II, a lower classification.

In July last year, Senator Yuko introduced SCR 13 to urge Congress and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to reschedule marijuana to a less restricted category.

“The reason we passed a bipartisan medical marijuana bill in Ohio was to provide relief to the thousands of people in our state who suffer from debilitating conditions and diseases,” said Senator Yuko. “We know medical marijuana helps patients with seizures, chronic pain and Parkinson’s disease, as well as children with cancer and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I cannot imagine having to go back to these citizens and tell them they might never receive the help we promised them almost two years ago, because the federal government changed its policy and decided to go after states’ marijuana programs. I hope Congress will take the matter into its own hands and help Americans living with pain and illness.”

Senator Yuko has been a proponent of medical marijuana since the early 2000s. He co-sponsored House Bill 523, the bill that created Ohio’s medical marijuana program and was signed into law in June 2016. 

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