President Joe Biden last week signed into law a bipartisan bill aimed at expanding and streamlining medical cannabis research.
The law, called the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, “establishes a new registration process for conducting research on marijuana and manufacturing marijuana products for research purposes and drug development.” According to a Friday release from the White House.
Even though medical marijuana is ubiquitous across the country, cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, hampering the potential for research in this area. The newly signed bill aims to change that.
After being confirmed by the U.S. House of Representatives in a vote of Democrats and Republicans in July, it passed the U.S. Senate last month with bipartisan support.
It’s a byproduct of Congress’ cannabis caucuses that celebrated Biden’s signing of the bill on Friday.
A group of lawmakers touted the bill as “the first separate federal marijuana reform law enacted since the adoption of the Controlled Substances Act in 1971.”
The law “intends to promote research into marijuana and its potential health benefits… streamlining the application process for scientific marijuana research and eliminating existing researchers who often slow down the research process.” by removing the barriers of
“For decades, the federal government has stood in the way of science and progress.It has perpetuated a misguided and discriminatory approach to cannabis. The Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act will make it easier to study the effects and potential of cannabis,” said Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Barbara Lee (D-CA). ), Dave Joyce (R-OH), and Brian Mast (R-Florida) said in a joint statement after Biden’s signing. Research is essential to better understand the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, which could help millions of Americans suffering from PTSD, multiple sclerosis, anxiety disorders and more.”
“We celebrate the enactment of this important and long overdue legislation and know that much more needs to be done to ameliorate the ongoing harm of the failed war on drugs. I’m here.
On the other floor, Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein of California said, “There is substantial evidence that marijuana-derived medicines can and do provide significant health benefits.” , said the bill “will facilitate research into how these drugs can treat a variety of treatments.” As a result, more patients will have easy access to safe medicines. ”
“We know that cannabidiol-derived medicines are effective for conditions such as epilepsy. This bill will help improve current medical CBD practices and develop important new applications.” After years of negotiations, we are pleased to finally enact this bill that will lead to important research that can help millions of people.
A group of lawmakers said the caucuses “will continue to work to rethink the federal government’s approach to cannabis and enact further reforms.” activity. “
This is the second action Biden has taken against federal marijuana policy in the past two months. In October, the president announced a pardon for those convicted of simple cannabis-related crimes under federal law.
Biden also said he has instructed cabinet members to reclassify marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, which sets out a federal ban on cannabis, and said he hopes the federal government will move toward decriminalization. .
In a statement, Biden said, “As I often said during my presidential campaign, marijuana use or possession alone shouldn’t put you in jail.” We have claimed too many lives and imprisoned people for conduct we don’t prohibit, and our criminal record for marijuana possession also imposes unnecessary barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities. While blacks and browns use marijuana at similar rates, blacks and browns are disproportionately arrested, prosecuted and convicted.”