U.S. Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have been extremely vocal in their intentions to continue the war on drugs.
Marijuana reform was their battlefield – they used every possible opportunity to oppose the legalization; attacking and criticizing the Obama administration for keeping the federal interference far from the states that decided to implement legalization laws and allow their citizens to legally consume marijuana, whether medical or recreational.
But something has changed along the way – Grassley and Feinstein have embraced a completely different approach and have teamed up to push the federal government forward to clear the way for scientists who want to conduct cannabis research studies on the medical benefits of the plant.
The duo have sent two letters to the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in which they requested the departments work together in order to “determine ways to remove any unnecessary barriers that stand in the way of research into the potential medical benefits of marijuana.” Needless to say, medical marijuana advocates were thrilled to hear about this news and welcomed the support.
Let us remind you that scientists who want to research marijuana are facing a long line of obstacles because marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug – this category is home to the most dangerous drugs without any medicinal value, such as heroin.
Because of this, only a handful of researchers have the necessary permits to conduct the research and every new scientist has to undergo a long and ridiculous process to get these permits.
One of the medical marijuana advocates, Mike Liszewski, director of government affairs for Americans for Safe Access, told Marijuana.com that the letters coming from two of the biggest opponents of marijuana reform are “yet another sign that the federal government is backing away from the position that marijuana has no medicinal value.”
But how could it not back it up?
Cannabis has been used for medicinal (and other) purposes for thousands of years, and over the past few years we have witnessed a growing number of individuals, namely children, using CBD-rich cannabis to successfully treat epilepsy. And epilepsy is just one of the many diseases and disorders that marijuana can cure or help manage.
It can be very discouraging to have the federal government turning a blind eye on this matter, which is why we admire all the advocates who have made the medical marijuana reform happen.