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Monday, January 30, 2023

Congress is sending a marijuana research bill to Biden’s desk, at last

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After a seven-month delay caused by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), A.J Cannabidiol and marijuana research expansion act Finally to President Joe Biden’s office for an autograph.

The bill aims to ease the burden of studying cannabis. Currently, federal Schedule I marijuana status makes it extremely difficult for researchers to legally obtain and study the plant.

If you think this law has already been passed, you are not alone. The House and Senate approved the measure last spring. Leafly’s David Downes covered this work on April 4, 2022. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has put it on the fast track to approval, which requires approval from both majority and minority party leaders. But Cornyn, a Texas Republican, objected to the bill’s fast-passing status.

In September, the marijuana moment Kyle Geiger reported Cornyn did not contest the substance of the bill. It’s just that the Texas senator was frustrated that the Senate didn’t pass more bills of his own, and decided to express that anger by blocking all House bills placed on similar unanimous approval tracks in the Senate.

Sen. Cornyn removed his objections earlier this week, after the midterm elections.

Doctors have reported decades ago That federal schedule marijuana status—which it considers a dangerous drug like heroin—impedes trials of essential drugs. A generation of patients have performed these experiments on themselves. (Ninety-two percent of medical cannabis users reported efficacy in one government survey in 2014.)

Currently, 38 countries have legalized medical cannabis. Of those states, 21 have legalized all adults. However, marijuana remains federal First schedule level.

The new law — sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and eight other senators — doesn’t change weed’s Schedule I status. But it forces the federal government to allow more researchers to grow medical cannabis, and allows doctors to talk about marijuana without fear of losing their medical license, among other modest tweaks.

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