Senator blocks bill that would have allowed cannabis research

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Senator John Cornyn stands in the way of a cannabis research bill almost at the finish line

Research in the world of cannabis continues to be of great importance, with even federal agencies making relevant moves to delve into the benefits of the plant. However, this appears not to be the priority of one Republican senator who seems to be standing in the way of some steps taken to pass a marijuana research bill. While the Senate leadership has a good approach to the legislation and the House has already given it the go-ahead, this senator threatened to delay the vote, becoming an obstacle for all those who do see the proposal as beneficial.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer initiated the process to pass the bipartisan “Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act” under unanimous consent yesterday. Known as “hotlining” a piece of legislation, the process means that both the Senate majority and minority leaders have reached an agreement to advance the bill without the need for a roll call vote. As a result, members have a limited amount of time to register objections before moving forward with the process.

While the issue of cannabis research has been discussed on several occasions as being of paramount importance, Senator John Cornyn did not hesitate to object yesterday. Had this not happened, the bill was expected to pass through the Senate and then be placed in the White House and await President Joe Biden’s signature. That would be the first time in history that a stand-alone cannabis reform measure would be enacted into law.

At the moment, Cornyn has not provided a clear reason for his objection. Reports allege that Cornyn is seeking to block all House action taken with the unanimous consent of the Senate. Once the House passed the cannabis legalization bill nearly six months ago, Cornyn said he opposes the policy because he feels it is “premature” and “we need to do some serious studies on the impact on brain development in children, pregnant women, and the like.”