WASHINGTON, D.C. — For the second year in a row, Congressman Matt Gaetz has introduced a bill to benefit research into the medical benefits of cannabis.
According to a press release from Gaetz's office, the congressman is sponsoring the Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2019.
Similar to the bill from last year, the Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2019 would increase the number of available licenses for research institutions and give those institutions, such as universities, better opportunities to study the benefits cannabis can potentially provide to those suffering from epilepsy, PTSD, muscular sclerosis and other conditions.
“For too long, Congress has faced a dilemma with cannabis-related legislation: We cannot reform cannabis law without researching its safety, its efficacy, and its medical uses — but we cannot perform this critical research without first reforming cannabis law," Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, said in a press release. "The Medical Cannabis Research Act helps break that logjam, allowing researchers to study medical cannabis without fear of legal jeopardy."
The bill does not change the legal status of cannabis and does not interfere with federal, state, or local cannabis laws, the press release said.
Previously, the House Judiciary Committee passed the Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018 and sent it to the full House, where it eventually died.
Co-sponsors of the Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2019 include: Congressmen Darren Soto from Florida, Ken Buck from Colorado, Jimmy Panetta from California and Diana DeGette from Colorado.
"This bipartisan legislation will make a tremendous difference to researchers nationwide, who may finally be able to develop cures for illnesses that affect many of America’s most vulnerable populations," Gaetz said. "I fully believe that this bill has a chance to pass this Congress and be signed into law by the president, who expressed his support for medical cannabis during his campaign. I thank my colleagues for their support, and look forward to passing sweeping cannabis reform legislation this Congress."