Sen. Warren Pushes to Ease Research Restrictions on Cannabis
Senator Elizabeth Warren, along with a group of eight other concerned Democrats, has demanded the federal government make changes to its current policies to facilitate the research of medical cannabis.
In a letter written to key officials with the Department of Health, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug Enforcement Administration, Warren suggests that since cannabis is now legal in over half the states, perhaps the time has come to loosen the restrictions that prevent the nation from truly understanding the healing powers of this plant.
“It is important that we make a concerted effort to understand how this drug works and how it can best serve patients through appropriate methods of use and doses, like any other prescribed medicine,” reads the letter.
The push for research comes just weeks after the Obama Administration announced lifting the Public Health Service review on proposed cannabis studies, as well as the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control that signified the almost certain demise of the DEA’s monopoly on pot production.
Yet, last week, when federal lawmakers introduced a bill aimed at putting research marijuana into a new classification of the Controlled Substances Act, deeming it a Schedule I-R while under the microscope, it quickly became apparent that Congress was still not in any mood to consider release efforts for this substance. The amendment, which was attached to a larger health bill, was destroyed with extreme prejudice in the House on Thursday by dominating Republican influence.
Nevertheless, the Senators’ letter indicates that more pressure is being applied to strong-arm the government into eliminating the unnecessary red tape surrounding cannabis research. It demands that the collective agencies determine, once and for all, a timeline for when Americans can expect the rescheduling of the cannabis plant – a move that would finally pull the herb out of the same category as heroin.
“Relevant federal agencies must play a leadership role in coordinating and facilitating research if we are to ensure that public policy in this area is supported by our best science,” the letter states.
Senator Warren, from Massachusetts, emerged as a supporter for medical marijuana in 2012, after her father struggled with a deadly bout of cancer.
What kind of cannabis research would you like to see? Tell us in the comments.