Today, the House Judiciary Committee reported the Medical Cannabis Research Act favorably, sending it to the House floor for a vote. This legislation, the first cannabis-related legislation considered by a Republican-led Judiciary Committee in history, makes it easier for researchers to study medical cannabis, and understand its potential uses, benefits, and risks.
Currently, cannabis research is stymied by laws that unfairly prevent many of America’s great research institutions from studying cannabis, despite its promise as a treatment for nausea, epilepsy, muscular sclerosis, and a host of other conditions. Cannabis has the potential to mitigate opioid abuse and addiction, and early studies indicate that it may even help veterans who suffer from PTSD. By giving research institutions “safe harbor” — keeping them safe from legal retribution — the Medical Cannabis Research Act will greatly assist American researchers unlock cures that cannabis may provide. Just last month, the FDA approved a cannabis-derived medicine for certain types of epilepsy. Future research is likely to unlock other cures.
After passage, Rep. Matt Gaetz, sponsor of the bill, issued the following statement:
“For too long, Congress has faced a dilemma with cannabis-related legislation: we cannot reform cannabis law without researching its safety, its efficacy, and its medical uses — but we cannot perform this critical research without first reforming cannabis law. The Medical Cannabis Research Act helps break that logjam, allowing researchers to study medical cannabis without fear of legal jeopardy.
I am grateful for the support of Chairman Bob Goodlatte, who was instrumental in developing this legislation, and for the committee’s bipartisan vote to support medical research. This vote will help unlock American innovation and discovery, and help researchers bring the cures of the future a little closer to reality.”