Sen. Rand Paul co-sponsors medical marijuana bill - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Sen. Rand Paul co-sponsors medical marijuana bill

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Could your doctor, one day, legally prescribe marijuana?

A bill co-sponsored by Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul could lead to that.

Paul's bill would, in effect, decriminalize medical marijuana, giving the green light to research in states like Kentucky.

“We as a society are changing our opinions on restricting people's choices as far as medical treatments,” said Paul during a Washington D.C. news conference.

The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Paul (R-KY), Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

The measure would re-classify medical marijuana from a Schedule 1 narcotic to a Schedule 2, allowing much easier access by physicians and researchers in states that permit it.

“When it's Schedule 1, it's virtually impossible to research. Is the proof always there? We don't know because we can't do the research. But I'm in favor of allowing the research to occur,” said Paul.

Suzanne DeGregorio says the bill gives her new hope. Her son, Alex, suffers from both epilepsy and autism.

She gives him handfuls of sometimes dangerous drugs to try and control his symptoms.

But when DeGregorio briefly gave him CBD oil that she had legally obtained from overseas, the effect was startling.

“When he had it for those few days, he completely calmed down. Like, within minutes, the hyperactivity just stopped,” she said.

DeGregorio heads a group called "Parents for Rescheduling Medical Cannabis."

She's pleased the effort may be paying off for her son, and for herself. DeGregorio is recovering from breast cancer.

“We need to find out what the potential is across conditions,” she said.

Paul believes attitudes towards medical marijuana are changing.

“If one of these patients up here takes marijuana in states where it's illegal, they would go to jail. Ask people that question. Are you in favor of that? I think you'll find that overwhelmingly people are not in favor of that,” said Paul.

The bill has a long march ahead through Congress.

Some are urging caution, concerned this could be a step toward legalizing all marijuana.

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