Marijuana Study Gets Boost in Washington

Marijuana Study Gets Boost in Washington

By Ed Coghlan

You aren’t going to believe who wants to free up the federal government to increase its research on the medicinal qualities of marijuana.

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch – a deep red conservative from Utah who is also a Mormon – has introduced a bill in Congress that, if passed, would make it easier to do research on marijuana.

One of the things holding back serious research on marijuana and its impact on helping chronic pain and other chronically ill patients has been the federal government active resistance to encourage research on the matter.

Senator Hatch issued a statement that was getting some press—given that some of what he wrote had his tongue firmly placed in his cheek.

“It’s high time to address research into medical marijuana,” Hatch wrote in a pun-filled statement. The Marijuana Effective Drug Study Act of 2017 would streamline the process for approving research and increase the national marijuana quota for medical and scientific research. Marijuana has been shown to have potential health benefits such as treating seizures and managing pain.

Though more and more states are legalizing the drug for both medical and recreational uses, marijuana is still banned at the federal level. The Drug Enforcement Agency has long classified cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance, the most restrictive classification. This means it’s in the same category as heroin and monitored very closely, which makes it difficult to get approval to study it. The DEA also establishes a yearly amount of medical marijuana that can be grown for research. Last August, the agency rejected an appeal to stop classifying cannabis as Schedule I drug.

“To be blunt,” Hatch continued, “we need to remove the administrative barriers preventing legitimate research into medical marijuana,” since some regulations do more harm than good.

The number of Americans who support legalizing marijuana has doubled since 2000. Most polls show that a majority of Americans believes marijuana should be legalized.

And the election last November was a tipping point for marijuana legalization. The election legalized recreational marijuana in California, Maine, Nevada, and Massachusetts. North Dakota, Montana, Arkansas, and Florida all approved medical marijuana.

Hatch co-wrote the bill with Brian Schatz (D-HI), and it is also supported by senators such as Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Chris Coons (D-DE). The current administration has mostly kept to the status quo when it comes to marijuana. Though Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been trying to bring back a war on drugs, he seems to not be having very much luck given the growing support for the drug.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

There are 5 comments for this article
  1. rachael a scott-madison at 5:28 pm

    That would be awesome!! I am Mormon, I also have Fibromaylgia and Rhuemotiod Arthritis so this would be a great relief for us, when conventional methods do not work!!

  2. Heather at 5:31 am

    Marijuana is a very useful Herb for many many health conditions from seizures to pain and even to slow and stop some cancer cells from growing. It also helps tremors in those with Parkinson’s along with a huge lost of other disorders. It is true. And not 1 single person has ever overdosed on it!!!!! That’s a fact, unless it was laced with another potent illegal drug causing it. The pain community needs something now more than ever since the CDC, DEA, FDA, and other federal agencies want to take away opiods that actually help us and the one’s who actually take it as prescribed and are the REAL PAIN PATIENT’S. It’s so sad to see so many of us being weaned off of oureds we’ve been on for any years with no changes that give us a little quality of life and able to get out of bed. Most still can’t work but we are not bedridden and still depend on our loved ones to help us with most house chores and such but physically and emotionally it eases the pain some. We have multiple autoimmune conditions on top of other disorders after disorders a lot of us. So it’s not fair to take away from those who follow the law and are under contract with our pain Dr’s, take drug test every 3 to 6 months, do pill counts when asked, etc. But it is has gone way past that. Our Dr’s are now afraid to prescribe at all and they are the professionals who know their patients and have the legit proof of diagnosis. Why???? Population control??? Surely hope none of these so called federal officials have pain one day or a loved one and can’t get help. It is brutal and inhuman, barbaric at times especially to go to the hospital. Forget it. You are automatically a “drug addict” in their eyes no questions asked and they refuse to see you if you see pain management. We do get sick but after my last 2 encounters here in NFL I refuse to go back. Its pointless. People are dying in parking lots due to lack of care and refusing to leave. We are real, not addicts. So if they are going to take away meds the least they could do is pass medicinal marijuana. It passed here in Florida but you can only get it in pill or vape form, can’t be smoked as of yet but an attorney filed suit against the state because that is not what we voted for. So waiting. And my Dr doesn’t participate in the program and in order to get a card you have to see a pain Dr or specialist who participates for 60 to 90 days before getting one. Nonsense. Anyways. All I can say as a healthcare professional myself and one who never ever refused a patient pain meds in LTC laughing or not beicase we do learn coping skills and they take smile we put on behind the pain, it is horrible to suffer like this. So everyone please STAND UP, SPEAK UP, and LET YOUR VOICES HE HEARD!!! Write to all your local representatives as well as federal government officials including the President. Keep doing it until we get answers. If we sit back and do nothing we will get nothing, so now is the time to BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATES AND LET IT OUT!!! Also education is the key, so understand your disorders to help others help you as well as to be able to ask questions at Dr appt and such. Love to all!

  3. Rachel at 11:46 am

    In the UK recently quality medical research showing cannabis works for pain was submitted to,the Government but they still refused to legalise it. Pain doctors here find this every frustrating since its been proven effective for chronic pain and muscle spasms – part of your pain condition if you are hypermobile. It may be worth you chasing up this submission because quality scientific research has already been done, Cannabis is schedule 3 here and only legal for MS patients and even so not all get it. Pain doctors advise 50% Sativa and 50% INDIKA is most effective so the THC is also important in effectiveness.
    I know the name of one Dr who has done research, Dr Mick Serpell at Gartnavel hospital in Glasgow.

  4. Bill at 9:13 am

    This article has made my Day! Finally there are a few brave congressmen who are realizing that there could be something to Marijuana having medicinal values, and that holding back studies on the plant has no valid reasoning anymore (not that it did to begin with). I know of so many who have benefited from medical Marijuana that when Mr. Sessions made his announcement about cracking down and more so prosecuting people who use it, and the dispensaries who supply it, that yet another expensive witch hunt begins. Those with Chronic Pain Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, cancer and other painful illnesses are again being chastised for needing stronger pain medication such as oxycodone because of the opiate crises, many have either supplemented their reduced pain medications with medical Marijuana, or have been using it exclusively sans opiates. Now he wants to take away the Marijuana too? I seriously doubt that it would happen. Also mentioned in the article is the possiblity of reducing the affects of THC, where is it written that all medicines must not give the patient a few moments of psychological relief where they actually feel good, can smile, laugh, relax and sleep well without that horrid non-stop pain?

  5. Laura P. Schulman, M.D. at 9:26 pm

    Having lived and worked in a part of Utah that prides itself on being “110% Mormon,” I’m not surprised by Sen. Hatch getting on board. LDS are very much believers in the biblical doctrine that the Lord made the cures before the maladies, and that for every ill there is a natural remedy. The intoxication part can be dealt with by breeding low-THC cultivars, and when THC itself is medically indicated, so be it. I’m pleased that he is getting behind veterans and others who are suffering from PTSD and chronic pain. Great to have the “red people” adding their voices! We’ve had far too much “Reefer Madness” hype in recent months. Time to get to work and make laws that work for those of us who depend upon this potent botanical healing gift.

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