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) GaetzGOP Mueller critic says Flynn contacted him during special counsel probe: report 2020 Dem Seth Moulton calls for expanding cannabis access for veterans Hillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group 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 CorreaDems demand documents on Trump 'sanctuary city' plan Wasserman Schultz: 'We need a President, not a comic book villain' Trump proposal for 'sanctuary cities' infuriates Dems MORE (D-Calif.) told reporters, adding that countries including Israel and Canada have embraced using cannabis for medical purposes. 

Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloDisinvited GOP lawmaker turns up at Dem hearing Overnight Energy: 2020 rivals rip Biden over expected 'middle ground' climate plan | Dems cancel plans to invite Republican to testify on climate change | House passes .2B disaster aid bill over Trump objections Dems cancel plans to bring in Republican as climate change witness 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 LeeOvernight Health Care: HHS issues rule requiring drug prices in TV ads | Grassley, Wyden working on plan to cap drug costs in Medicare | Warren to donate money from family behind opioid giant Dem lawmaker shares video of herself dancing to Beyonce for Dance Week Lawmakers renew push to create American Latino Smithsonian museum 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.