Democratic Congressmen Sam Farr (CA-20, and Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), and Republican Congressmen H. Morgan Griffith (VA-09), and Andy Harris, M.D., (MD-01), introduced the “Credible Research on Medical Efficacy of Marijuana Amendment” to the 21st Century Cures Act which is currently scheduled to be considered on the House floor this week.
The amendment centers on removing restrictions on marijuana research and encourages the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to work with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to collaborate on research about the medical risks and benefits of marijuana. While it does not change marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug, the amendment creates a new subclassification within Schedule 1 that would facilitate research.
Cong. Farr said that the federal government needs to rethink its policy since more and more states pass medical marijuana laws. Allowing research shall provide policymakers information that shall determine the role of marijuana in the country based on science and not on rhetoric, he added. Cong. Griffith, on the other hand said that the amendment is a responsible approach to increasing research and pursuing the answers to questions being asked by so many patients, doctors, researchers, and policy makers about medicinal marijuana.
The 21st Century Cures Act, passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, aims to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of promising new treatments and cures for patients and maintains the standing of US as the biomedical innovation capital of the world.