U.S. Congressional Committee Approves Cannabis Bill, But Not Without Drama
The House Judiciary Committee approved the Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018 on Thursday despite objections that the measure unfairly discriminates against those with criminal records. If passed, House Resolution 5634 would require the attorney general to ensure that an adequate and uninterrupted supply of research-grade cannabis is available. The act also provides safe harbor protections for institutions participating in cannabis research.
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, the sponsor of the legislation, said in a release that he was pleased with the committee’s approval of the bill.
“I am glad that the Judiciary Committee has reported the Medical Cannabis Research Act favorably, sending it to the House for a vote,” Gaetz said. “For too long, Congress has faced a dilemma with cannabis-related legislation: we cannot reform cannabis law without researching its safety, its efficacy, and its medical uses — but we cannot perform this critical research without first reforming cannabis law. The Medical Cannabis Research Act helps break that logjam, allowing researchers to study medical cannabis without fear of legal jeopardy.”
The chairman of the committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who has opposed marijuana reform legislation in the past, said that more study into the medicinal uses of the plant is warranted.
“While there are