March 30, 2023

Biden cannabis research bill

Last Friday, US President Joe Biden made a historic move by becoming the first American president to ever sign a marijuana legislation bill and made it into a law.


Now, the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion bill will (hopefully) make it easier for researchers to study the marijuana plant. It also contains literature urging the federal government to analyze the plant’s therapeutic benefits, which may possible help push the rescheduling review which is set for Biden to do in October. In addition, the bill will enable research universities and private firms to obtain licenses from the US Drug Enforcement Administration so that they can grow and study it for the purpose of research.


Additionally, the bill may even boost the growth of companies who want to develop cannabis-based treatments, including pharma firms. If the research they conduct ends up becoming successful, these companies may even end up being able to market and sell their products backing up science-based medical claims without getting into trouble with the Food and Drug Administration


A statement was also released by co-chairs of the bill: “For decades, the federal government has stood in the way of science and progress – peddling a misguided and discriminatory approach to cannabis. Today marks a monumental step in remedying our federal cannabis laws,” said Reps. Blumenauer, Barbara Lee, Dave Joyce, and Brian Mast.


“Research is foundational for the path forward on cannabis policy,” they said. “We celebrate the enactment of this critical and long-overdue legislation, and we know there is much more to do to remedy the ongoing harms of the failed war on drugs,” reads the statement.


The bipartisan bill was first proposed in July, though thankfully it was successful in passing the house. By November, the Senate unanimously approved it.


Why This Law Is So Important


This law is so significant because for far too many decades, the federal government only allowed cannabis that has been grown in the University of Mississippi (UM) to be studied by scientists. The cannabis grown at UM can still be used for research though the DEA is still going to regulate the process through which researchers will apply to study cannabis and any of its byproducts. The law also seeks to repair the damage caused by the War on Drugs so that we can all have a better understanding of marijuana’s therapeutic benefits so that millions of Americans around the country will be better educated and have improved access to medicine. They can then make better-informed decisions on using marijuana products aimed at treating chronic pain, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, and so much more.


Before the bill was passed, scientists and researchers would have to jump through a ridiculous amount of red tape just to apply to study it, then acquire the plant and register for research. But because of the bill, researchers will have access to a regular, federally legal, and continuous supply of marijuana.


It was also bad enough that researchers had to wait a year, sometimes even more, for their permits to be approved by the DEA in the recent past. But with the new law, the DEA must approve a researcher’s application within 60 days. Otherwise, they have to cite reasons why it has been denied. If a researcher can provide more information based on the DEA’s request, they then have 30 days to decide on it.


Being able to place a deadline on the response time of the DEA is fantastic news for cannabis research to move forward as a whole.


Furthermore, cannabis will be treated like any other drug when it comes to scrutiny for safety and medical use. “We will now be able to treat marijuana like we treat any substance or pharmaceutical for which we hope there is potential benefit. We will be able to subject it to rigorous scientific trial,” explains Rep. Andy Harris, former NIH researcher and physician, who was pivotal in helping the bill pass through Congress.


For years, researchers have been complaining about the numerous barriers they have to go through to study the plant. In fact, it was as if the federal government were blocking cannabis research instead of encouraging it. They are now more eager than ever to study cannabis without the federal government watching them like a hawk, and making it difficult to because of the poor quality of cannabis grown at the University of Mississippi by NIDA.



While this is happening, researchers still hope that the federal government will take steps to make cannabis mainstream. The most important factor in this is the rescheduling of marijuana. Should marijuana be rescheduled to a Schedule II substance, it would further remove federal government barriers while joining many other drugs on this list, improving access more than ever.


After all, most Americans already think that cannabis should be legal. A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center from October 10 to 16th reveals that 88% of American adults think cannabis should be legal for medical reasons, and 59% think it should be legal for recreational reasons.


However, Pres. Biden still opposes the federal legalization of cannabis at this moment, despite campaigning for reforms in the past. But who knows when Biden may have a change of heart – as he always seems to do when it comes to cannabis.



bidens tojan horse for the marijuana industry


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