Thursday, May 15, 2014
Via Mike Liszewski at Americans for Safe Access (disclosure: I currently serve on ASA's Board) comes word of a new Congressional effort to remove a barrier to marijuana research. In addition to all of the standard research restrictions restrictions for Schedule I substances, marijuana is subject to an additional Public Health Service review that has stalled some medical marijuana research efforts. A group of Representatives is calling for the PHS review to be eliminated.
Here's the story from ASA:
A bipartisan group of Members of Congress have drafted a letter seeking that the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) remove a federal barrier to medical marijuana research that no other Schedule I substance is subjected to.
Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Dana Rohrabacher, (R-CA) are currently seeking additional cosigners to the letter, which seeks to lift the current Public Health Service (PHS) review process that has preventing potentially groundbreaking medical marijuana research from taking place in the United States.
Established in May 1999, the PHS review process was the federal government's response to the 1998 Institute of Medicine report that called for more in depth scientific research to understand the medical value of marijuana. While the plain language of the PHS review protocol says that it is, "intended to facilitate the research needed to evaluate these pending public health questions by making research-grade marijuana available for well-designed studies," the review process has largely served to thwart research rather than facilitate it.