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The Senate’s experiment with cannabis

April 7, 2017

Art by Burn Rock

Hardliners on Judiciary open up to research on medical pot

Obamacare. Gay weddings. Now pot?

As progressives celebrate a couple of big wins in Washington –  the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act and legalizing same-sex marriage – another issue has remained firmly stuck at the national level: marijuana legalization. Congress has resolutely opposed the state-level movements toward legalizing marijuana, keeping it a Schedule I controlled substance on par with heroin, LSD and peyote.

But now some of the nation’s toughest law-and-order senators just might be opening the window to cannabis, at least a crack.

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) have all begun speaking up about the need for more clinical research on the marijuana plant compound known as cannabidiol, or CBD. The three sit on the powerful Judiciary Committee, which has a key voice in setting the federal government’s firm stance on pot in all its different forms.

They sent a clear signal in a packed hearing room last week, when the senators took on the tricky issue of CBD, a compound derived from an illegal drug but which many scientists and public health officials believe could treat conditions including cancer, diabetes, chronic pain, and alcoholism. Some parents and doctors have already turned to CBD as an anti-seizure medicine for children who suffer from rare and extreme types of intractable epilepsy… (more)

 

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