House lawmakers push for medical marijuana research reform

House lawmakers push for medical marijuana research reform
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A bipartisan group of House lawmakers on Thursday advocated for the passage of a medical marijuana research bill. 

The legislation, spearheaded by Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzTrump: I told Republicans to vote for 'transparency' in releasing Mueller report House votes for Mueller report to be made public Matt Gaetz jabs Don Lemon while talking to Chris Cuomo on CNN MORE (R-Fla.), would require the attorney general to assess whether there's an adequate supply of research-grade cannabis annually for researchers and institutions to look into its medicinal uses. 

Gaetz said 25 members have signed on to the legislation, which has received the support of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteTop Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview It’s time for Congress to pass an anti-cruelty statute DOJ opinion will help protect kids from dangers of online gambling MORE (R-Va.).

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"One of the reasons I'm so enthusiastic is that we really do have a broad base of support for this bill from Republicans and Democrats, from moderates, conservatives, liberals, libertarians," Gaetz said.

"And I'm hopeful that by finding the area with the common ground, the theory that we ought to create protections for research, that we'll be able to make some progress on this very important issue."

Proponents of the bill argue medical marijuana could be beneficial for veterans, elderly people and those suffering from chronic illnesses.

"We know cannabis is good medicinally for a lot of things: epilepsy, seizures, cancer, appetite. And you talk [to] our veterans; they prefer cannabis to opioids," Rep. Lou CorreaJose (Lou) Luis CorreaRep. Beyer: What I learned In Central America Dems face internal battle over budget Progressives say Congress must reject funding for more ICE agents MORE (D-Calif.) told reporters, adding that countries including Israel and Canada have embraced using cannabis for medical purposes. 

Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloEx-GOP lawmaker joins marijuana trade group Dems think they're beating Trump in emergency declaration battle Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign MORE (R-Fla.) said he believes it's important that the government doesn't stand in the way of studies looking into marijuana's potential benefits.

"We do need to learn more. We need more research," he said. "What we don't need is a federal government-led witch hunt against those who are following state laws, those who want to conduct research and those who want to inform the public."

Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeHarris receives endorsement from 6 home-state mayors Dems put spotlight on diversity in tech Hillicon Valley: T-Mobile, Sprint racked up Trump hotel bills | Progressives find fresh target in telecom merger | Lawmakers divided over state privacy rules | FCC warns of future probe into Sinclair allegations MORE (D-Calif.) said she thinks it's an area where both sides can come together to help advocate for the advancement of medicine.

"We may not agree on every aspect of cannabis legislation, but at the very least we should be able to conduct research and our veterans should be allowed to benefit from these trials that are also a part of this legislation," she said.