Lawmakers push for more marijuana research

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is coming together over marijuana reform.

The Marijuana Effective Drug Studies Act introduced Monday would not legalize recreational or medical marijuana, but it would make it “easier for researchers to study the medical effectiveness and safety of marijuana.”

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The effort is being spearheaded by Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump gambles in push for drug import proposal Biden's role in Anita Hill hearings defended by witness not allowed to testify 'Congress' worst tax idea ever'? Hardly. MORE (R-Utah), as well as Reps. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerHillicon Valley: Trump signs order to protect US networks from Chinese tech | Huawei downplays order | Trump declines to join effort against online extremism | Facebook restricts livestreaming | FCC proposes new tool against robocalls Hoyer defends Tlaib Holocaust remarks after criticism from GOP Political world mourns death of Doris Day MORE (D-Ore.) and Andy Harris (R-Md.).

This is the first step toward legalization, marijuana advocates say.

Lawmakers who oppose marijuana legalization — including Harris, one of the biggest pot critics in Congress — often complain about a lack of research, but the federal government obstructs many efforts to study the drug.

The bill would remove those research barriers.

Eventually, the results of the marijuana research could be used to sway opponents of legalization, proponents say.

The federal government still prohibits all uses of marijuana, even though 25 states and Washington, D.C., have issued laws legalizing medical marijuana at the state level.