Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 3797

Should Congress Make it Easier for Scientific Researchers to Obtain Marijuana for Medical Research?

Argument in favor

Medical marijuana research is needed to understand marijuana’s potential medicinal potential. Currently, the difficulty of accessing medical- or recreational-grade marijuana makes it difficult for scientific researchers to conduct experiments in this area. Reducing barriers to procuring marijuana for legitimate scientific research purposes would bolster marijuana research efforts and help scientists and medical professionals better understand marijuana’s potential benefits and harms.

jimK's Opinion
···
12/09/2020
Yes, researchers should have access to marijuana. Let’s get clear quantifiable answers regarding benefits and risks, particularly as new more potent strains are being developed. All evidence to date says the risks are demonstrably less than alcohol use or tobacco. Quantify the benefits and the risks to serve as a guide for regulating new strains and freeing up use for successful treatment of many human afflictions.
Like (39)
Follow
Share
larubia's Opinion
···
12/09/2020
Yes, it should be much easier for scientists to research this natural medicine! The drug companies are going to fight you, as they can’t make a profit off of anything natural! Screw them! We need medications that work, without all of the debilitating side effects! My mother has suffered migraines from a head injury for over 25 years. Because of her heart condition, she could not use any of the newer drugs for migraines without a threat to her life. The only medications that worked were higher & higher doses of narcotics! Don’t even get me started. Medical marijuana & botox injections have been the ONLY remedies that have effectively worked for her. The bonus of marijuana is that it also reduces her body tremors so that she can feed herself & write legibly. Marijuana has been a miracle for our family! If only research had been around 25 years ago, my mother would not have been made to suffer for decades!!!
Like (26)
Follow
Share
···
12/09/2020
Much of the reason for the ever-increasing public support for legalization of marijuana has been the desire to find medical uses for it, to research those medical uses to gain scientific data to support those uses, and to offer science-based information about those uses so that many Americans could benefit, This bill pushes this agenda forward, and will ground decisions about medical use of marijuana in research-based findings.
Like (20)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

If the goal of this legislation is simply to make medical-grade marijuana more readily available to scientific researchers, then there is no need for it. Rather than passing this legislation, Congress should increase medical marijuana availability by directing the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to approve the 26 cultivators that have applied to supply medical-grade research cannabis under a 2016 policy change that has yet to be implemented.

Michele's Opinion
···
12/09/2020
So how can they not access it when every pot smoker can and has for the last 30+ years. Really? If this were to be true, it makes our government more incompetent then I'd have believed.
Like (2)
Follow
Share
Robert's Opinion
···
12/09/2020
Are they crazy?? Maybe the house leadership is using marijuana. This is why the government should shut down and congress should no be paid until they have passed a budget to follow.
Like (1)
Follow
Share
CptnCavm's Opinion
···
12/09/2020
It shouldn't specify only one avenue of use. Most of America (70%) want it legalized for personal use. Then it would also be available for everything else.
Like (1)
Follow
Share

What is House Bill H.R. 3797?

This bill, known as the Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2019, would address two major barriers currently faced by scientific researchers seeking to conduct legitimate medical research with cannabis, a Schedule I drug.

This bill would specifically:

  • Amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to establish a new, separate registration process to facilitate research with marijuana for medical purposes;
  • Encourage the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reduce the wait time for approval of research registration applications;
  • Direct the FDA to issue guidelines on the production of marijuana for authorized researchers and manufacturers;
  • Make marijuana from state-authorized marijuana programs available to researchers; and
  • Ensure that all medical marijuana researchers are in compliance with FDA drug development standards.

Impact

Scientific researchers; medical marijuana research; marijuana cultivators seeking to supply marijuana for scientific research; state-authorized marijuana programs; the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and the Controlled Substance Act.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3797

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a long-time advocate of marijuana legalization, introduced this bill to amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to establish a new, separate registration process to facilitate medical marijuana research and thereby reduce barriers to legitimate medical marijuana research:

“47 states have legalized some form of cannabis, yet the federal government is still getting in the way of further progress on the potential for research. We owe it to patients and their families to allow for the research physicians need to understand marijuana’s benefits and risks and determine proper use and dosage.”

After this bill’s passage by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Blumenauer added:

“As momentum grows in our effort to end the failed prohibition of cannabis, we also need to address failed drug laws like the ones that make it extremely difficult for researchers and doctors to study cannabis. With some form of cannabis legal in nearly every state, it’s inexcusable that the federal government is still blocking qualified researchers from advancing the scientific knowledge of cannabis. The bipartisan support of our legislation in today’s committee markup is an important step in removing unnecessary barriers to medical cannabis research and ensuring that patients, clinicians, and consumers can fully understand the benefits and risks of cannabis.”

Cosponsoring Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), a staunch opponent of marijuana legalization, adds that this legislation is needed to support scientific researchers’ access to marijuana for research purposes:

“As a physician who has conducted NIH-sponsored research, I cannot stress enough how critical this legislation is to the scientific community. Our drug policy was never intended to act as an impediment to conducting legitimate medical research. If we are going to label marijuana as medicine, we need to conduct the same rigorous scientific research on efficacy and safety that every other FDA-approved treatment undergoes. This legislation will facilitate that research by removing the unnecessary administrative barriers that deter qualified researchers from thoroughly studying medical marijuana.”

After this bill’s passage by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, original cosponsor Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) said that its passage would remove “outdated” barriers to medical marijuana research:

“There is a strong need to better understand the medicinal benefits of marijuana, but researchers don’t have the tools necessary to conduct proper, science-driven research. That research requires us to remove outdated barriers that prevent research. Doing so will improve our understanding of medical marijuana and provide additional treatment options for millions of patients.”

The American Psychological Association (APA) is among a number of scientific research organizations that supports this legislation. Its CEO, Arthur C. Evens, Jr., Ph.D., says:

“Scientists who have been discouraged from studying cannabis because of the hurdles associated with the registration process, redundant protocol reviews and security requirements will be encouraged by this bill, which greatly simplifies the whole process. Psychologists are interested in studying a wide range of scientific questions related to the use of real-world cannabis products, including cannabis use disorder, cognitive impairments, risk for psychosis and motor vehicle impairment, and the potential therapeutic uses for cannabis derivatives. Without access to an expanded range of cannabis products, scientific research cannot hope to keep pace with the expanding recreational and medicinal cannabis marketplace. This bill will facilitate the rapid approval of applications to manufacture cannabis products from non-government sources, resulting in a supply that can meet the needs of cannabis researchers.”

Lee Hannah, a cannabis policy researcher at Wright State University, says the access-related problems that currently plague marijuana research could be resolved by putting marijuana on the Schedule II, rather than Schedule I, list. This would make more research funding available and also make it easier for researchers to access medical marijuana with which to conduct experiments.

This legislation passed the House Committee on Energy and Commerce by voice vote with the support of 21 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 12 Republicans and nine Democrats.

A number of prohibitionist scientific research organizations, including the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), support this legislation. They are joined by several marijuana policy advocacy groups, including Smart Approaches for Marijuana (SAM Action) and the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).


Of NoteIn 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced a policy change increasing the number of authorized cannabis manufacturers that could supply medical-grade research cannabis. 

To date, the DEA has yet to approve any of the 26 cultivators that applied under this policy. Therefore, at present, the federal government only allows researchers to use marijuana provided by the University of Mississippi. However, researchers say that the University of Mississippi’s marijuana is closer to hemp than it does the medical or recreational marijuana produced by state-licensed providers. This has impeded researchers’ efforts to understand marijuana’s full medical benefits.

Over the 2008-2019 period, the U.S. spent about $1.5 billion on marijuana research, most of which was focused on the potential harm — rather than the medical potential — of marijuana. In this same time period, overall cannabis research funding in the U.S. has risen steadily from less than $30.2 million in 2000 to over $143 million in 2018; and the share of funding spent on exploring medical marijuana applications is growing.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / CasarsaGuru)

AKA

Medical Marijuana Research Act

Official Title

Medical Marijuana Research Act, as amended

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
    IntroducedJuly 17th, 2019
    Yes, researchers should have access to marijuana. Let’s get clear quantifiable answers regarding benefits and risks, particularly as new more potent strains are being developed. All evidence to date says the risks are demonstrably less than alcohol use or tobacco. Quantify the benefits and the risks to serve as a guide for regulating new strains and freeing up use for successful treatment of many human afflictions.
    Like (39)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, it should be much easier for scientists to research this natural medicine! The drug companies are going to fight you, as they can’t make a profit off of anything natural! Screw them! We need medications that work, without all of the debilitating side effects! My mother has suffered migraines from a head injury for over 25 years. Because of her heart condition, she could not use any of the newer drugs for migraines without a threat to her life. The only medications that worked were higher & higher doses of narcotics! Don’t even get me started. Medical marijuana & botox injections have been the ONLY remedies that have effectively worked for her. The bonus of marijuana is that it also reduces her body tremors so that she can feed herself & write legibly. Marijuana has been a miracle for our family! If only research had been around 25 years ago, my mother would not have been made to suffer for decades!!!
    Like (26)
    Follow
    Share
    Much of the reason for the ever-increasing public support for legalization of marijuana has been the desire to find medical uses for it, to research those medical uses to gain scientific data to support those uses, and to offer science-based information about those uses so that many Americans could benefit, This bill pushes this agenda forward, and will ground decisions about medical use of marijuana in research-based findings.
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    Needed to do research to generate evidence to inform reasonable regulation since it is legal in so many states already, and more to come. In the US usually drug companies do this but since none have intellectual property rights I doubt they will invest the money so it will be left to academic researchers with little funding. They will need a source of drug (marijuana) that is consistent and high quality to be able to compare research results.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes. Of course. Get out of the way. NEXT QUESTION
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Why not? We all know as early as the 1920’s marijuana was known by many. But politicians and major pharmaceuticals were against it. It was more advantageous to use harsher drugs for speedy relief. Now 100 years later pharmaceuticals are realizing their mistakes. Go for it.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Yep!
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    nothing should be off limits for science- let alone a helpful plant like cannabis.It obviously has multiple uses,meds,fun,cloth,furniture,you name it.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Hell yes! Why? Because it does work with many medical conditions without damaging your body like prescription drugs do! I use a topical CBD cream and it works very quickly on the pain I have due to hips and arthritis. You only use a little bit on the area and the pain stops! It lasts for a few hours too! So yes it's time to do the research! It's a natural plant which works naturally with our bodies instead of all the side effects from prescription drugs which harm our bodies.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Of course we should investigate more uses for marijuana.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes and the first step is to legalize marijuana at the Federal level. That should open the door nicely!
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    If we are to make informed decisions and revisions, or not make revisions, to laws around this issue, we have to understand it and expanded research facilitate this
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes. Obviously.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    How can our government determine that marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug under the CSA without allowing for research to be conducted? This demonstrates the fact that marijuana has been demonized for political reasons and that it’s criminalization has no factual footing. Yes, allow for better accessibility for cannabis research in this country.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    No
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    Marijuana is safer than any man made medication!!! Please make it legal!!!
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    As long as it’s also legalized federally not just for big pharmaceutical companies. I have lived and worked in Denver and cannabis needs to be legalized. The dispensary’s take care and clean the major interstates. As a long time Virginian it’s stupid to jail people for a plant, plain and simple. It’s a racist law to start with. Virginia is the Napa Valley of the east coast. Instead of growing all the grapes grow some cannabis and make some money. It’s the perfect climate even though most is grown indoors; however there is a niche of people who like outdoor. Make the age 21 to buy and possess. I don’t condone ever driving on it but I can tell you people drive better in Denver than they do Virginia. It’s stupid when I can drive across an imaginary line into DC and it’s legal. Also, I think Congress should have a “joint” session every month.. maybe then both parties can get something accomplished instead of arguing all the time.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    After COVID relief, yes! They should just legalize it, regulate it lightly, and tax it. Someone thought it was incompetence that scientists couldn't get it from the government, though many of us have obtained it for the last 50 years. But, it is illegal federally, and no scientist want's to throw away their career to embark on a single scientific quest. Plus, for their studies to be valid they have to know how the marijuana was grown because scientific formula requires controlled replication. There is no reasonable reason to keep marijuana illegal. Alcohol is the most primary "gateway drug," and it is perfectly legal.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Support science. It’s real.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE