Rep. Bishop introduces medical marijuana research bill

WASHINGTON — Congressman Rob Bishop has introduced the bipartisan Marijuana Effective Drug Study Act in the House of Representatives.

The MEDS Act (H.R. 4825) “is aimed at creating a reasoned and responsible environment where the best minds may be able to analyze and examine something about which we know very little,” according to a statement released by Rep. Bishop’s office Thursday.

“The MEDS Act is common sense. When presented with an opportunity to alleviate the suffering of those afflicted with painful disorders, we must take it. We don’t know all the answers when it comes to the effects of medical-grade marijuana. This legislation allows scientists and researchers to get at those answers in a responsible manner that isn’t hindered by unnecessary roadblocks,” Bishop wrote in the statement.

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch also introduced the MEDS Act in the Senate last September.

Utah Representatives John Curtis, Mia Love and Chris Stewart are all co-sponsors, as are Earl Blumenauer, D-OR, Eleanor Norton D-D.C.,  Jared Polis, D-CO, and Jamie Raskin, D-MT.

Representatives Curtis, Love and Stewart issued the following statements on the bill:

Rep. John Curtis: “Too often unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles hinder innovation. This bill will help lower the barriers to medical-grade marijuana research and hopefully lead to breakthroughs in treatments. I am proud to join with my colleagues to introduce this bill and give hope to families that are suffering from serious conditions like cancer and epilepsy.”

Rep. Mia Love: “I am aware of the desperation of parents whose children suffer from painful medical conditions like epilepsy and how they are searching for help for their children. I also know Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, M.S. and cancer patients who are in pain. To allow for the study of how this may help those conditions, while maintaining important checks and protections, is something that as a Utahn and a mother I support.”

Rep. Chris Stewart: “It is well beyond time that we streamline and clarify medical-marijuana research. If there is potential for more Americans to live pain-free lives, we owe it to them to get the facts.”