Sen. Elizabeth Warren signs onto letter highlighting need for more medical marijuana research

Sen. Elizabeth Warren signs onto letter highlighting need for more medical marijuana research

In Regulatory, Top Stories by Chris DollardLeave a Comment

A woman smokes a marijuana cigarette at the San Francisco Medical Cannabis Clinic in San Francisco in 2010. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File) (File photo | Associated Press) Millions of Americans are now eligible for medical marijuana, thanks to its legalization in 23 states, including Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia. But research on the health effects of marijuana remains in short supply as states like Massachusetts slowly implement the medical marijuana law passed by voters. A potential question on the 2016 statewide ballot could lead to the legalization of marijuana in the Bay State. That’s prompted Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, along with six colleagues, to ask the federal government to step up and specify government agencies’ plans for researching the drug. In a letter they sent to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug Enforcement Administration, the lawmakers asked for information on their efforts in coordinating an attempt to address a “data shortfall” and noted that there are still “barriers” for researchers looking to study medical marijuana. The federal government has “tools” that will help with collecting data and performing large clinical trials and independent scientists should be supported as well, the letter said. “It is time for the federal government to pick up those tools and use them,” the senators wrote. Other senators who signed onto the letter include Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Barbara Mikulski, D-MD; Barbara Boxer, D-CA; and Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon. The senators asked for a response from the federal agencies by Aug. 31. “Many states and localities are moving forward with policies that facilitate the availability of medical marijuana to a greater proportion of the population than ever before,” they wrote. “All participants in […]

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