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) GaetzMaduro starts new term in Venezuela facing US sanctions, lack of legitimacy abroad Rick Scott threw party at Florida governor’s mansion after DeSantis and family had moved in: report Native American lawmaker: Haven't heard back from GOP rep who called Warren 'Sacagawea' 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 GoodlatteHouse GOP probe into FBI, DOJ comes to an end Murkowski to reintroduce bill to help abused Native American women FBI hits GOP chairman over push to clear sensitive transcripts by Christmas Eve 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 CorreaOn The Money: Shutdown Day 25 | Dems reject White House invite for talks | Leaders nix recess with no deal | McConnell blocks second House Dem funding bill | IRS workers called back for tax-filing season | Senate bucks Trump on Russia sanctions Leaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight Democrats turn down White House invitation for shutdown talks 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 Rep. Ryan Costello joins group pushing carbon tax Hispanic Caucus boasts record membership in new Congress Chuck Todd says his show is 'not going to give time to climate deniers' 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 LeeDemocrats vow to lift ban on federal funds for abortions Live coverage: House elects new Speaker as Dems take charge Ocasio-Cortez eyeing Jeffries as 2020 target: report 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.