Republican Senator Introduces Marijuana Research Bill

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) today introduced the Marijuana Effective Drug Study Act of 2017 (the MEDS Act) which is designed to improve the process for conducting scientific research on marijuana as a safe and effective medical treatment.

In introducing this legislation, Senator Hatch was joined by Senator Schatz (D-HI) and cosponsors Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC).

“It’s high time to address research into medical marijuana,” Hatch said. “Our country has experimented with a variety of state solutions without properly delving into the weeds on the effectiveness, safety, dosing, administration, and quality of medical marijuana. All the while, the federal government strains to enforce regulations that sometimes do more harm than good. To be blunt, we need to remove the administrative barriers preventing legitimate research into medical marijuana, which is why I’ve decided to roll out the MEDS Act.”

Read moreRepublican Senator Introduces Marijuana Research Bill

Federal Bill Introduced to Reinstate College Financial Aid to Students With Drug Convictions

financial aid

A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers are pushing to repeal a Higher Education Act provision that prohibits students with drug convictions from receiving financial aid for college. The Stopping Unfair Collateral Consequences from Ending Student Success (SUCCESS) Act, introduced by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), would eliminate the drug conviction question on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“Blocking access to education simply doesn’t reduce drug problems. Education and job opportunities are among our best tools to fight the individual and community-level impacts of drug misuse, so student advocates, civil rights leaders and higher education officials have been pushing to repeal this senseless penalty for almost two decades,” says Betty Aldworth, Executive Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), whose hundreds of chapters on college campuses have been working to overturn the aid elimination penalty since the organization’s founding in 1998. “The drug war as a whole is an abysmal failure that causes so many harms to so many communities, and removing college financial aid from the battlefield is a good start. But many more fundamental changes to our nation’s drug policies are still going to be needed even if this bill is enacted.”

Read moreFederal Bill Introduced to Reinstate College Financial Aid to Students With Drug Convictions

Bipartisan Legislation to Legalize Medical Use of Low-THC Cannabis Introduced in U.S. Senate

Bipartisan legislation to exempt low-THC cannabis from the United States list of controlled substances when being used to treat seizure disorders such as epilepsy.WTCannabis has been filed in the United States Senate The bill  – titled the Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act of 2015 – was filed by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), along with co-sponsors Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Michael Bennet (D-CO).

“This bill would provide children and adults alike with access to medicine they need to treat life-threatening conditions,” Senator Gardner said in a Wednesday press release. “Colorado has become a haven for people in need and parents desperate to pursue treatment for their children. Making this medicine available nationwide is the right thing to do, and would help families cope with these serious illnesses.”

Read moreBipartisan Legislation to Legalize Medical Use of Low-THC Cannabis Introduced in U.S. Senate