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Senate Committee Demands More Marijuana Research, Fewer Restrictions

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Marijuana’s current Schedule 1 classification in the U.S. makes researching marijuana nearly impossible. Advocates for legalization have made this argument for years. And now the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee finally agrees.

One of the comments from the Senate Appropriations Committee report titled “Barriers to Research” reads, “The Committee is concerned that restrictions associated with Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act effectively limit the amount and type of research that can be conducted on certain Schedule 1 drugs, especially marijuana or its component chemicals and certain synthetic drugs,” Forbes reports.

The Senate wants the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to increase its marijuana-related research into the substance’s potential health benefits and risks.

The Senate report goes on to says, “At a time when we need as much information as possible about these drugs, we should be lowering regulatory and other barriers to conducting this research,” and that the “Committee is concerned with the rapidly changing landscape regarding the recreational use of marijuana–the effects that the drug can have on brain development; addiction; the long-term health effects in both youth and older individuals. The Committee directs NIH to coordinate a multi-Institute approach to increase research related to the effect of increasing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol levels on the human body as well as the effect of various delta-tetrahydrocannabinol levels on cognitive abilities that are required to, for example, operate motor vehicles.”