The United States House Appropriations Committee has voted to approve legislation that would direct the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to determine a plan for accelerating the approval process for those wanting to study cannabis.
Specifically, the provision – which is attached to a federal spending bill – mandates the agency to “review all relevant DEA rules governing research on the medical efficacy of marijuana and determine ways to facilitate further research through streamlining the DEA approval process.”
Surprisingly, the bill was championed by Representative Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican who attempted earlier this year to stop Washington D.C. from implementing a law that legalized the possession and cultivation of cannabis.
Mike Liszewski, Director of Government Affairs for Americans for Safe Access, says the bill is a positive step forward, but may not be enough of a change to accomplish what it sets out to do; “The language is certainly welcome in its apparent attempt to facilitate research”, Liszewski says, “but in practical terms, I’m not sure that it would accomplish that end”.
The Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act is now up for a full House vote.