(Washington, DC) — Today, The House of Representatives passed the groundbreaking, bipartisan Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act (H.R. 8454) by a 325-95 vote. This legislation is the most significant advancement in marijuana research reform in several years. The bill, which SAM helped draft and has supported for several years, streamlines the application process for marijuana research, encourages the FDA to develop marijuana-derived medicines, and requires the Department of Health and Human Services to report on the potential benefits and harms of marijuana use to Congress – all without altering marijuana’s Schedule I status or legalizing the drug.
Regarding today’s historic passage of the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, SAM President and CEO Dr. Kevin Sabet issued the following statement:
“The Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act demonstrates that we can lower barriers to marijuana research without descheduling and legalizing marijuana. Unlike bills like the SAFE Banking Act, MORE Act, and the Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act, this legislation represents needed and meaningful reform to marijuana research.
“SAM has always encouraged research on marijuana and has said for years that if marijuana is being presented as medicine, it should be treated as such and researched as such. We encourage component treatments that are FDA-approved, prescribed by a physician, and dispensed by a pharmacy. Bills like this one are key for advancing a solid, science-based research agenda.
“I applaud bill sponsors Congressmen Andy Harris and Earl Blumenauer, as well as Senators Brian Schatz, Dianne Feinstein, and Chuck Grassley for leading this charge on sensible marijuana research.”
Today there was a hearing on marijuana legalization in the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Justice and Counterterrorism, and SAM submitted testimony which can be read here.
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is an alliance of organizations and individuals dedicated to a health-first approach to marijuana policy. We are professionals working in mental health and public health. We are bipartisan. We are medical doctors, lawmakers, treatment providers, preventionists, teachers, law enforcement officers and others who seek a middle road between incarceration and legalization. Our commonsense, third-way approach to marijuana policy is based on reputable science and sound principles of public health and safety.