House lawmakers are growing increasingly frustrated with restrictions on federal marijuana research and are putting pressure on regulators to change the rules.
While 33 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, federal research is extremely restricted.
During a House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing Wednesday, bipartisan lawmakers pressed officials from the Food and Drug Administration, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and National Institute on Drug Abuse about obstacles to studying the safety and effectiveness of cannabis products, including hemp-based cannabidiol.
“States’ laws and federal policy are a thousand miles apart. As more states allow cannabis, the federal government still strictly controls and prohibits it, even restricting legitimate medical research,” said subcommittee Chairwoman Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).
All of the administration officials at the hearing agreed the current studies on the benefits and health consequences of marijuana are inadequate. However, they indicated that changes are not going to be immediately forthcoming, as more studies are needed.
Marijuana is a Schedule I drug, meaning it is in the same category as drugs like heroin and LSD. According to the federal government, it has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical value.
Drug schedules were first established by former President Nixon as part of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. Marijuana was put into Schedule I at that time, and has remained there ever since. [Read More @ The Hill]
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