photo by Michael Jolley
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, one of the longest-serving Republican leaders and a conservative-leaning Mormon, introduced a bipartisan bill Wednesday that would make it easier to study the benefits of medical cannabis as a replacement to deadly opioids.
The Marijuana Effective Drug Study Act of 2017, or MEDS Act, would simplify the approval process and order Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “increase the national marijuana quota in a timely manner to meet the changing medical, scientific, and industrial needs for marijuana.”
According to Hatch’s official website, the bill is co-written by Sen. Brian Schatz and co-sponsored by Sens. Chris Coons, Cory Gardner and Thom Tillis. “It’s high time to address research into medical marijuana,” Hatch stated with a pun in a press release. “Our country has experimented with a variety of state solutions without properly delving into the weeds on the effectiveness, safety, dosing, administration, and quality of medical marijuana. All the while, the federal government strains to enforce regulations that sometimes do more harm than good. To be blunt, we need to remove the administrative barriers preventing legitimate research into medical marijuana, which is why I’ve decided to roll out the MEDS Act.”
It’s indeed “high time” to allow medical cannabis research when the bipartisan issue is being backed by even Sen. Hatch. At 83 years old, Hatch is the longest-serving GOP senator in U.S. history, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Although many have debated whether cannabis consumption is explicitly banned by Mormon beliefs, however Hatch’s support for medical cannabis goes back several years.
Hatch also acknowledged the importance of finding some kind of common ground between Democratic and Republican agendas in Washington. The bill is similar to the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States, or CARERS Act introduced by Sens. Corey Booker and Rand Paul. “In a Washington at war with itself,” Session added, “I have high hopes that this bipartisan initiative can be a kumbaya moment for both parties.”
Source: Culture Magazine