Congressman proposes amendment to protect cannabis research


Pictured: Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida

A Republican congressman proposed an amendment to protect the Department of Justice from impeding cannabis research.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, sponsored an amendment to the upcoming Consolidated Appropriations Act, which would provide researchers of Schedule I substances protection from Justice Department interference or obstruction of research.

Under the Controlled Substances Act, Schedule I drugs are considered to be highly addictive and have no known medical value. Due to its designation, conducting federal research on cannabis can be a long process for those interested.

Gaetz’s amendment is similar to the Rohrabacher-Blumenaur Policy which shields medical cannabis states from federal prosecution. Gaetz released a statement which said the  new policy would encourage more researchers to conduct studies on cannabis and remove the stigma which discourages larger organizations from participating.

“…Universities are concerned that cannabis research would impair hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants they receive,” Gaetz said. “…if people are legally using cannabis under state law, and over half the states of the country [have medical cannabis laws], maybe we shouldn’t scare people out of researching outcomes.”

The amendment will have to pass through the House Committee on Rules next week to be considered for the Consolidated Appropriations Act.