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  • Alec Chenkus

Legislative Push to Offer Federal Bill for Medical Marijuana Research

Updated: Jul 7, 2023

The modern-day prohibition of cannabis came in 1970 with the passage of the Controlled Substance Act signed into law by then-President Richard Nixon. With the passage of this bill, marijuana was classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which meant according to the DEA marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical treatment use in the United States, and has a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

According to federal law, no prescriptions may be written for a schedule 1 substance and that prohibition forced cannabis supporters underground for over 25 years. Naturally, the illegal status of cannabis prohibited medical research on cannabis as an effective medical treatment, and haltered the growth of understanding of the cannabis plant.

It would not be until California started to push back on the federal classification in 1996 with the passage of the country's first state-approved medical marijuana program. This program flew in the face of the DEA's scheduling of cannabis: physicians were, for the first time, recommending medical marijuana as a treatment option for medical conditions. Anecdotal evidence started to pile up, but the scientific research was suffocated.

This led other countries to lead the charge for cannabis research; most consequentially, Canada and European countries have been the leaders in cannabis research while American physicians lag behind. This leaves patients and physicians in a frustrating position, as there is clearly evidence for medical marijuana's efficacy but it has not been allowed to be confirmed through peer-reviewed research.

Many individuals out there believe we have only touched the surface of marijuana's applications in medical treatments, and with further research we may unlock even more medical uses for marijuana. Furthermore, with irrefutable scientific evidence, supporters of medical marijuana would be more adept to counter the anti-marijuana arguments that persist to this day.

Now, for the first time, there is legitimate bi-partisan support to pass legislation that would accelerate medical cannabis research. As of right now, the only legal marijuana research program is a partnership with the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the University of Mississippi. While there is an application process through the DDEA for marijuana growers to apply to, MJ Biz Daily reports that the agency has "dragged its heels" on acting on more than two dozen applications.

The Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2019 was introduced to fix a few kew problems currently associated with the DEA's application process:

  1. Create a new, less cumbersome registration process for marijuana research. This would include reducing approval times, costly security measures and unnecessary layers of protocol review.

  2. Make it easier for approved researchers to actually obtain the marijuana they need for their studies through a reform of product and distribution regulations and limitations.

  3. Allow for the private manufacturing and distribution of marijuana solely for research purposes.

The bill has the support of various groups such as Smart Approaches for Marijuana, the Marijuana Policy Project, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Neurology. Furthermore, supporters believe that pushing for more of a niche bill such as the Medical Marijuana Research Act will have a better chance for approval than other measures aimed at more sweeping reforms.

The marijuana research bill joins a bill aimed at bolstering CBD and marijuana research, which has the backing of the American Medical Association, in addition to various other reform efforts currently under place at the federal level. The tides of change are coming as lawmakers more aggressively push for cannabis reform in various different avenues.


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Ohio Marijuana Card

If you are an Ohioan suffering from one of these 21 medical conditions you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana, which includes both THC and CBD products.

Click here to learn more about what Ohio Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at 1-866-457-5559 and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment.


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