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June 19, 2014

Lawmakers Urge HHS to Ease Restrictions on Marijuana Research

Thirty members of Congress have asked the federal government to let up on the burdensome process in which scientists obtain marijuana for medical research, according to a press release from the Marijuana Policy Project, which helped write the request.

Specifically, the bipartisan group signed a pro-pot petition calling on U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to help ensure that researchers not funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) can get legal access to the drug.

Currently, marijuana is listed as a Schedule I substance in the United States, which means that most scientists must seek permission from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA) and get state and local licenses that allow them to possess the drug before testing it. Advocates argue that the review process to gain these approvals is so robust that it prevents a huge amount of studies that could be going into medicinal pot.

With more than 22 states and the District of Columbia allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and more than 1 million Americans currently using it as treatment at the request of their physicians, the advocates argue that federal policies should help ramp up research, not roadblock it.

To read the Marijuana Policy’s press release, click here.

To read the full petition, click here.

Search: Congress, marijuana, medical research, MPP, HHS

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