WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – Pot is an unlikely source of bipartisanship, but this week, both Republicans and Democrats joined forces on a bill that would speed up the process for using medical marijuana.
In a speech full of puns, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch pitched his bill for medical marijuana research.
“Mr. President, it’s high time to address research into medical marijuana… Our country has experimented with a variety of state solutions without properly delving into the weeds, on the effectiveness, dosing,” he said.
The bill is supported by Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz, of Hawaii, and Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, of Colorado, whose statement said, in part: “Our medical community continues to find new ways medical marijuana can help patients, but currently, there are too many barriers…”
The so-called MEDS Act would streamline the process for studying medical marijuana as a safe, effective medical treatment while taking steps to try to ensure it’s not abused.
While in some states, like Colorado, medical and recreational marijuana have been legal for years, in Utah, supporters of medical marijuana are facing a tough process to get it on 2018 ballot.
“I am strongly against the use of recreational marijuana, I worry, however, that in our zeal to enforce the law, we often blind ourselves to the medicinal benefits,” Hatch said.
Senator Hatch wants to develop best practices for the medical marijuana industry on a national level.