22 June 2016
here’s the introduction to the piece – link through to watch the video
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D) of Oregon, crowned “Congress’s top legal pot advocate,” by Rolling Stone, found an unlikely ally for his latest marijuana-related bill: Rep. Andy Harris (R) of Maryland. The conservative Republican introduced a provision that effectively blocked D.C. from loosening its pot laws, launching him to the center of the controversy about marijuana legalization as pot’s most vocal opponent.
But the two lawmakers agree that more research into the drug’s medicinal uses is necessary to move the medical marijuana debate forward, and that’s why they’re joining forces this week to introduce legislation to ease the process for scientists studying the drug.
The Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2016 would remove many of the legal and bureaucratic hurdles that block researchers attempting to obtain and use medical marijuana in clinical trials.
“Statutory, regulatory, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers have paralyzed science and threatened the integrity of research freedom in this area,” according to a Brookings Institute report issued in the fall that called on the US government to end its “war on medical marijuana research.” Because of federal government roadblocks to research,“the use of cannabis for medical treatment is happening in states based largely on anecdotal or limited science,” the Brookings report stated.
It commonly takes about seven years for research to get approval from all the relevant administrations to conduct their research, The Washington Post reported, and only one facility in Mississippi has the federal go-ahead to produce marijuana used for research.