• New House Amendment Creates Special Schedule For Marijuana Research

    A new amendment attached to legislation in the House looks to add a new schedule to the Controlled Substances Act so as to reduce barriers to medical marijuana research.

    The 21st Century Cures Act, scheduled for consideration by the House later this week after being approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is an attempt to spur research and implementation of promising new cures, Marijuana.com reports.

    The amendment features legislators from both sides of the aisle and counts Democratic Reps. Sam Farr and Earl Blumenauer, as well as GOP Reps. H. Morgan Griffith and Andy Harris, among its supporters. Earlier this year, Harris tried to block efforts to legalize and decriminalize marijuana in Washington, D.C. Farr also has a history with marijuana legislation, having passed a bill to restrict the Department of Justice from using funds to crack down on states that have legalized medical marijuana. Elsewhere, Blumenauer has authored a bill to help veterans gain access to medical marijuana.

    Instead of trying to move marijuana out of the Schedule I category, the amendment aims to create an entirely new subcategory called Schedule IR, which would make research on the merits of the drug much easier to conduct, though it leaves use of the drug for any other purpose behind in Schedule I.

    “As more and more states pass medical marijuana laws, it is clear the federal government needs to rethink our federal policy. Both sides of this issue agree that debate needs to be centered on science and not rhetoric. Allowing research to occur will give policymakers the information necessary to determine the proper role of medical marijuana in our country,” Democratic Rep. Farr said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

    Included in the amendment is a call for the National Institutes of Health and the Drug Enforcement Administration to work together in studying the effects of marijuana, both positive and negative.

    “It’s great to see that even the most ardent opponents of legalization are finally admitting that it’s wrong for the federal government to block research on marijuana’s medical benefits,” Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority, told TheDCNF. “All we’ve ever asked is that marijuana policy be dictated by science and fairness, and we feel confident that research will continue to show that keeping cannabis in Schedule I is completely inappropriate.”

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