Earlier last week, the House passed a bipartisan cannabis research measure that would make it easier to conduct necessary medical research on this plant. The Senate is expected to pass the measure soon, which will make this bill the first standalone marijuana reform proposal to be advanced to the president’s desk.
The measure, dubbed the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, was considered on the U.S. House of Representatives’ floor under the suspension of rules of parliamentary procedure. This procedure is a motion reserved for noncontroversial initiatives that limits debate in the chamber and allows no amendments. For this procedure to be used, no less than two-third support of the House is needed to approve a measure.
The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Andy Harris and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, was approved by the House in a 325-to-95 vote. Ahead of the vote, some bipartisan legislators spoke favorably about the bill, with the results showing that all Democrats and the majority of the Republicans were in favor of its passage.
On the floor, Harris stated that this measure would make it easier to carry out more studies on cannabis as the American public deserved to know what medical cannabis was useful for. He noted that it would protect patients as well by modernizing the research techniques used and bringing medical cannabis up to the scientific standards set for every other type of drug sold as medication in America.
In a press release, Blumenauer stated that research was a foundational element of marijuana policy, explaining that it was crucial that scientists were able to fully conduct research on the health benefits of marijuana. He also noted that the federal government had stood in the way of progress and science for a long time, which had imposed barriers for scientists who would like to obtain resources and approval to study marijuana. This bicameral bipartisan measure, he declared, would help to change that.
Frank Pallone, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, also stated on the floor that the bill brought Congress to an overdue historic moment, explaining that studies on cannabis had been regulated in a restrictive way because of the plant’s status as a Schedule I substance. This, he explained, meant that the existing research wasn’t an accurate representation of the products available to most individuals in the country.
Meanwhile, Harris and Blumenauer have also advocated for a separate marijuana research initiative, which cleared the chamber a few months ago.
Once the recently passed cannabis research bill gets the nod from the Senate and is signed by the president, studying marijuana could get a little easier for entities such as Cannabis Strategic Ventures Inc. (OTC: NUGS) in their bid to develop products that better serve the diverse needs of the population.
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