Lawmakers Want Legal Protections For Universities That Research Marijuana

Lawmakers Want Legal Protections For Universities That Research Marijuana

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Capitol Hill is asking House leadership to protect universities that conduct research on marijuana from being penalized under federal law.

In a letter sent to the chairwoman and ranking member of a House education appropriations subcommittee, Rep. Joe Neguse (D) and 25 colleagues wrote that “there are a multitude of higher education institutions conducting a range of cannabis-related research, including many in our districts, who prefer for future developments to occur through an accredited educational setting.”

Neguse and lead co-author Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), along with the other lawmakers, requested that the subcommittee include specific language in the fiscal year 2020 Labor-Health and Human Services appropriations bill that would prohibit the U.S. Department of Education from withholding federally appropriated dollars from universities that are researching cannabis.

“Formal research is especially important as more states legalize medical marijuana,” the letter states. “We need medical professionals who are equipped with the knowledge to discuss competently issues surrounding cannabis and health. Evidence-based research regarding cannabis ought to be encouraged in academic settings, not discouraged.”

“Our constitutional framework has afforded the whole nation the chance to allow states to differ on many matters of public policy, including cannabis. As a result, that same framework should be extended to the protection of research of cannabis at higher education institutions.”

Other lawmakers signing the letter to the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies include Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA),Ted Lieu (D-CA), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Dina Titus (D-NV) and Don Young (R-AK). Read more

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