Congressmen address alleged cannabis research obstruction by Justice Department


Pictured: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California

Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

On Wednesday, a group of lawmakers sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions which relayed concern about reported moves by the Justice Department to halt cannabis research.

Representatives Matt Gaetz Dana Rohrabacher, R-California; Jared Polis, D-Colorado; and Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon; referenced a report from Aug. 15 which stated anonymous Drug Enforcement Administration officials said the DOJ removed plans to reduce barriers for cannabis research. Earlier in August, 22 entities applied for cannabis research manufacturing licenses but none were approved.

Each of the congressmen had been involved in several cannabis-related bills which aimed to reschedule cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act, increase research, and protect state-based programs.

The lawmakers said it is troubling to think the Justice Department would limit potentially groundbreaking research because it does not want to follow a rule. They are going to inquire whether the allegations raised by the report were true, to further understand the department’s rationale in refusing to process applications.

Justice Department officials could not be reached for comment.