A bipartisan group of House lawmakers on Thursday requested that a medical marijuana research bill be passed.
The legislation carried by Republican Representative Matt Gaetz requires the attorney general to assess whether there’s an adequate supply of research-grade cannabis annually for researchers and institutions to look into its medicinal uses, The Hill wrote.
Gaetz stated that 25 members have signed the legislation including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.
“One of the reasons I’m so enthusiastic is that we really do have a broad base of support from this bill from Republicans and Democrats, from moderates, conservatives, liberals, libertarians,” Gaetz said. “And I’m hopeful that by finding the area with the common ground, the theory that we ought to create protections for research, that we’ll be able to make some progress on this very important issue.”
The bill argues that medical marijuana could be beneficial for veterans, elderly people and those suffering from chronic illnesses.
“We know cannabis is good medicinally for a lot of things: epilepsy, seizures, cancer appetite. And you talk our veterans; they prefer cannabis to opioids,” Representative Lou Correa said to the reporters, adding that countries, including Israel and Canada, have embraced using cannabis for medical purposes.
Republican Representative Carlos Curbelo also supported the bill saying that he believes it’s important that the government doesn’t stand in the way of studies looking into its potential benefits.
“We do need to learn more, we need more research,” he said. “What we don’t need is a federal government-led witch hunt against those who are following state laws, those who want to conduct research and those who want to inform the public.”
Democratic Representative Barbara Lee also stated that she thinks that this is an area where both Parties can come together to help advocate for the advancement of medicine.
“We may not agree on every aspect of cannabis legislation, but at the very least we should be able to conduct research and our veterans should be allowed to benefit from these trials that are also a part of this legislation,” she said.
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