Congress to vote on marijuana bill this week

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The bill could pave the way for more research on medical marijuana benefits

A vote is expected this week by the US House panel charged with federal government drug enforcement on a bill that could help open the doors to substantially more research on medical marijuana. The Medical Cannabis Research Act (MCRA) would create requirements for the federal government to issue more marijuana grow licenses to improve scientific studies, as well as institute a number of enhancements for the marijuana industry.

The bill is sponsored by Representative Matt Gaetz out of Florida, along with 40 bipartisan cosponsors. It would change current legislation that limits research cannabis to being sourced only from the University of Mississippi, whose supply is often considered to be difficult to obtain and of inferior quality.

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on the MCRA this Thursday. Gaetz created the bill because the “federal government should not stand in the way of collaboration that can help people live better lives.”

If approved, the bill will “increase the amount of research-grade cannabis available to unlock cures.” Adds Gaetz, “This will be the first time that a cannabis reform bill will make it through the Judiciary Committee during Republican control of the Congress, ever.”

Recent changes in individual state legislation have opened the doors to a wider push for marijuana legalization at the federal level. After being suppressed for decades, there has been a significant increase in marijuana research over the past several years. The studies have found, and continue to find, that medical marijuana use has tremendous benefits for a number of ailments and the list grows on virtually a daily basis.