Utah: Sen. Hatch (R) Introduces Marijuana Research Bill

Utah: Sen. Hatch (R) Introduces Marijuana Research Bill”

On Wednesday, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch dragged a piece of legislation called the Marijuana Effective Drug Study Act of 2017 (MEDS Act) up to the steps of Capitol Hill in hopes of breathing new life into the scientific exploration of the cannabis plant.

In a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, Hatch said the US needs more research into the "possible benefits of medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids".

"Our medical community continues to find new ways medical marijuana can help patients but now there are too many barriers that are holding back even further advancements and research", said Gardner. Hatch spoke about the need for research into possible benefits. All the while, the federal government strains to enforce regulations that sometimes do more harm than good. In introducing this legislation, Senator Hatch was joined by Senator Schatz (D-HI) and cosponsors Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC).

In fact, Hatch says he is adamantly opposed the idea of legalizing the leaf for recreational use. "It will make it easier for our universities, hospitals, and scientists to look at new ways that medical marijuana can be used for treatment". It labels it a Schedule I drug, a designation that means it has no notable medical benefits, making it hard for scientists to study its uses. "We've got "high times", "into the weeds", strains to enforce", and "to be blunt", among others.

Make marijuana more available for legitimate scientific and medical research and the commercial production of any FDA-approved drugs derived from marijuana.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse would be required to develop and publish recommendations for growing research marijuana as well, among other aims of the bill.

Require the Attorney General to increase the national marijuana quota in a timely manner to meet the changing medical, scientific, and industrial needs for marijuana.

"I have no desire to exclude any of my Democratic colleagues from this discussion, and I'm not determined to report anything by a party-line vote", he said. Earlier this summer, he and another bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation to help legal marijuana businesses bank in the U.S.

The MEDS Act is one of several marijuana-related bills making its way through Congress.

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