House Republicans Shut Down Federal Medical Marijuana Studies

By Brent McCluskey 07/16/15

The Republican party has once again put a roadblock in the way of progress.

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Late last week, House Republicans voted against a measure that would have allowed researchers to study the benefits of medical marijuana.

The bill would have reclassified the drug, providing laboratories the opportunity to conduct “credible research on its safety and efficacy as a medical treatment.” Possible treatments include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, the Republican vote has essentially shut down the possibility for federal research.

According to Maryland Rep. Andy Harris, who is also a doctor, any research into medical marijuana would likely show it to be not suitable for medical purposes.

“We need science to clearly determine whether marijuana has medical benefits and, if so, what is the best way to gain those benefits,” said Harris.

But Rep. H. Morgan Griffith of Virginia confidently believes there are at least some circumstances where medical marijuana could be beneficial.

“We let doctors use heroin derivatives, barbiturates and all kinds of nasty stuff that I wouldn’t want people to use recreationally. Why not study marijuana?” said Griffith. “Andy Harris doesn’t think the research will show anything positive, but I do, and both of us feel willing to take the risk, do the research, and let us make decisions. This amendment would have answered the question one way or another. I think it would have shown it is a valuable medical substance, but now we don’t have the evidence.”

It’s unclear exactly why the measure was turned down, but many feel the only way to definitively determine whether or not medical marijuana is “good” or “bad” is through scientific research, not opinion.

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Brent McCluskey is a Social Media Editor at International Business Times as well as a Jedi with Sith tendencies.  He is also a reader of books, slayer of dragons, and level 80 mage.

“Yeah, I have a broad skill set. If I had to pick between being a Divergent or a wizard, I'd pick a wizard.”  His wizardness can be found on Twitter and Linkedin.