Could AOC Amendment Clear the Way for Medical Cannabis Study?

Could AOC Amendment Clear the Way for Medical Cannabis Study?

Medical Cannabis—specifically the government roadblocks to studying it and other Schedule 1 drugs that may have medical application—may have found a new friend.

As Tom Angell wrote in Forbes, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) filed legislation on Friday to remove a legal barrier that scientists say makes it unnecessarily difficult for them to study the medical benefits of psychedelic drugs like psilocybin (mushrooms) and MDMA (ecstasy).

Cannabis, psilocybin and MDMA are all Schedule 1 Drugs and have showed promise in helping with chronic pain, end of life therapy and treating PTSD, according to the Congresswoman.

She tweeted: “It’s well past time we take drug use out of criminal consideration + into medical consideration that begins with research. I’m proud to introduce an amendment that helps scientists do their jobs.”

The government’s virtual ban on this research has been codified since at least 1996 in various forms of legislation that funds the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services and Labor.

The government ban is tied to “any activity that promotes the legalization of any drug or other substance in Schedule I” of the Controlled Substances Act.

The National Pain Report has long reported on this issue—where federal government regulation has stunted any serious research into the real palliative effect that medical cannabis provides chronic pain patients.

This development comes in the wake of an interesting story last week about cannabis use in U.S. adults over age 65 which has seen a tenfold increase from 2007 to 2017. That’s according to a study from the University of Colorado.

Many older adults are turning to cannabis to treat health issues and not surprisingly, older adults have reported barriers to getting medical marijuana.

They also vote.

Political support for marijuana has been growing rapidly. The District of Columbia and 11 states—most recently Illinois—have gone as far approving recreational marijuana. 33 states approve cannabis for medical use in some form.

And yet the federal government has been loath to change. What happens with Ocasio-Cortez’ amendment will be interesting given the way the political winds are blowing—toward legalization- while Congress and the Trump Administration dither.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Great post! Thanks for sharing the knowledge and keep up the good work.

Liza Ann

Cannabis helps me with some of my pain, but the main benefit is that it takes my nausea away more than any drug I’ve been prescribed. It also enables me to have an appetite. 5 years ago when I visited my pain physician for first time he asked me if I took any “street drugs”. I told him I used cannabis but would stop so it would not show in my drug screen or cause problems. He said to keep smoking if it helps. “Hell, its legal in DC for recreational use, what hippocrates” He thinks its outrageous that in our state its not legal for medical or personal use. Im so blessed to have such a great Physician. He also disagrees with the CDC about their guidelines. He says its just an opinion and he will prescribe what works best for each patient. He keeps excellent records which justify what kind and how much pain medicine works best for that patient. His practice was “audited” by DEA and they told him to keep up the good work and he has NOTHING to ever worry about. Why are physicians like these getting fewer and fewer?

Walter Strickland

I have to agree with you Barbara.The Senate will. It pass the legalization of it and even if the did Prez Trumper will veto the bill , then it will start all over again.Amazing that alcohol and cigarettes kills more people than all the pot and legal opioid medications and is highly pushed be ause of the huge tax revenue the government gets from it’s sale.Im not sure about heroin and fentanyl, but I suspect is the same there.Legalize it and add on taxes and the government will say look at the good we have done,BUT no prescription pain medications for the CPP as thiseads to destruction.Makes since don’t it!!!


Being a pain management patient I can no longer wait on a Government that can’t do anything beside fight amongst themselves. For the first time in 20 years I am almost pain free after finding that vapor cartridge with high thc, 3 hits at bedtime I wake up pain free. Better then any other drug or treatment I have received.

Everything but what really does work. Let’s just get everyone on a mind altering mushrooms or mdma etc. Just alter their thinking & reality & they won’t care about the pain. …how rediculous.

Wanda Hobbs

Bravo AOC! It is long past time for the government to recognize the medicinal properties of cannabis and legalize it’s use. This would be a step in the right direction. Continued efforts to restrict the use of opioids from those of us in the Chronic Pain Community leave many searching for viable alternatives and marijuana appears to be the safest and most effective one available to most people.

DB Stewart

I use cannabis, and it helps with my chronic pain.

Barbara Snow

With the war in Washington the way it is, Congress can keep passing bill after bill the way they have, and that’s as far as it will go. The Senate will never even get a chance to vote on them. It’s good that Congress is doing their jobs, but the Senate never will with the leadership as it stands. Than Trump would just vito it anyway. Sorry to be a wet rag about all of this.

Finally! it should be legal

It truly is about time! A plant held prisoner by our corrupt Government! Would end up keeping me from Suicide and Heroin so far since pulled cold turkey from my opiate pain medication for cancer the end of 2015