It’s High Time We Research Medical Marijuana
It’s High Time We Research Medical Marijuana.
Throughout my public service, I have worked to shine a light on the need for innovative treatments to help those who suffer from debilitating illness and rare disease. In that same spirit, I introduced a bill with Senator Schatz (D-HI) last month to encourage more research into the potential benefits of medical marijuana. This proposal could help millions of Americans suffering from a wide-range of conditions, including cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, residual effects after a stroke, and chronic pain.
As I said last month on the Senate floor, it’s high time we give stone-cold serious consideration to medical marijuana research. For twenty years, states have delved into the weeds of potential uses, but research has often been stymied by a puffed-up regulatory bureaucracy. As doctors strain to find effective alternatives to addictive opioids, they need more than token gestures from Congress; they need potent solutions. That’s why the bill we have rolled out is not a half-baked policy proposal but an earnest effort to address a chronic problem in the system. With growing support from Democrats and Republicans alike, this joint effort represents a unique hash of ideas from members of both parties, and a budding opportunity for real bipartisan reform. We need to blaze a trail for a new era of medical research, and this legislation will light the way.
Now all pot puns aside, it will surprise no one that I am strongly against the use of recreational marijuana. I worry, however, that in our zeal to enforce the law, we too often blind ourselves to the medicinal benefits of natural substances like cannabis. While I certainly do not support the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, the evidence shows that cannabis possesses medicinal properties that can truly change people’s lives for the better. And I believe that we would be remiss if we threw out the baby with the bathwater.
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