Sen. Gardner Backs Effort to Advance Medical Marijuana Research

By Alex Siciliano

Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced the Marijuana Effective Drug Study (MEDS) Act of 2017 to improve the process for conducting scientific research on marijuana as a safe and effective medical treatment. The legislation’s lead sponsor is Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

“Our medical community continues to find new ways medical marijuana can help patients but currently there are too many barriers that are holding back even further advancements and research,” said Gardner. “This legislation is simple. It will make it easier for our universities, hospitals, and scientists to look at new ways that medical marijuana can be used for treatment.”

The MEDS Act will:

  • Encourage more research on the potential medical uses of marijuana by streamlining the research registration process, without imposing a scheduling determination on the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
  • Make marijuana more available for legitimate scientific and medical research and the commercial production of any FDA-approved drugs derived from marijuana.
  • Retain important checks to protect against diversion or abuse of the controlled marijuana substances.
  • Require the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to develop and publish recommendations for good manufacturing practices for growing and producing marijuana for research.
  • Require the Attorney General to increase the national marijuana quota in a timely manner to meet the changing medical, scientific, and industrial needs for marijuana.
  • Codify the administration’s decision to terminate the Public Health Service and its review of proposals for medical research on marijuana.

The Act will also prevent the Department of Health and Human Services from instituting any other marijuana-specific protocol reviews, other than the voluntary review that a researcher can request from National Institutes of Health (NIH) in order to access the expedited DEA registration process.

Senator Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Budget Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy and Subcommittee on Energy.

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