US Congress To Introduce Cannabis Research Bill

This week a new bill is being introduced in the US congress which would allow for medical cannabis research to be done without barriers. The bill is named the Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2016.

Congressman Sam Farr is of the bill’s drafters, and he says that “This bill is about helping people. As more states pass their own medical marijuana laws, it’s time for Congress to reexamine federal policy. This bill does just that by supporting research policy decisions about the role of medical marijuana are based on science and facts instead of rhetoric.”

This bill is intended to be bipartisan and it will address two of the biggest barriers for cannabis research. One issue is the time it takes for cannabis researchers to register for the research. The other component is to improve the speed that researchers can obtain cannabis for their work, and the bill will allow legal production and distribution for the specific purpose of research. A similar bill is being introduced in the Senate soon as well.

Another one of the bill’s proponents, Congressman Andy Harris, has was previously a physician before getting elected, and he commented on the bill. “As a physician who has conducted NIH sponsored research, I can’t stress enough how critical this legislation is to the scientific community. Our drug policy was never intended to act as an impediment to conducting legitimate medical research. We need empirical scientific evidence to clearly determine whether marijuana has medicinal benefits and, if so, how it would be used most effectively. This legislation is crucial to that effort, because it removes the unnecessary administrative barriers that deter qualified researchers from rigorously studying medical marijuana,” Harris noted.

This is yet another sign of cannabis become more mainstream in North America. Once medical cannabis research can be done more easily, it will become even more ingrained into society.