Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01), Acting Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee issued the following statement in response to the passage of the bipartisan Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research ExpansionAct. This bill was originally introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Earl Blumenthal (D-OR) and Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD) for the purpose of facilitating rigorous research on marijuana and its potential benefits by removing existing barriers that slow the research process. The Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research ExpansionAct also allows approved institutions of higher education, practitioners, and manufacturers to manufacture, distribute, dispense, and possess marijuana and cannabidiol if it is done for purposes of medical research and drug development. This bill will modernize current research methods, bringing medical marijuana up to the scientific standard we use for every other type of medication that is sold as a drug in this country. The Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research ExpansionAct was introduced in the Senate by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Brian Schatz (D-HI). In July, this bill was passed in the House of Representatives by a 325-95 vote.
Congressman Harris issued the following the statement:
“As a physician who has conducted NIH-sponsored research, I am pleased that this bill has finally passed and that scientists will be able to research what medical marijuana can and cannot do. While there is evidence to suggest that medical marijuana may be beneficial in the treatment of some diseases like glaucoma and epilepsy, only scientific research will prove the veracity of the many claims regarding efficacy for other diseases. Despite lacking much scientific research, over three dozen states have already legalized medical marijuana, and the American public deserves to know the effect modern marijuana has on the human body. While I support additional research for the use of medical marijuana, my position on recreational marijuana remains the same – I categorically oppose it.”