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Washington, D.C.—In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this morning, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)—the senior member and former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee—questioned US Attorney General Jeff Sessions about a path forward for medical marijuana research. Since there is currently only one marijuana provider for medicinal research purposes, Sessions agreed it would create healthy competition to increase the number of suppliers.

Many states across the nation have adopted laws to legalize marijuana for medicinal use, based on research suggesting there is some medicinal value to be found in it. To be clear, I remain opposed to the broad legalization of marijuana; however, I introduced, with Senator Schatz, the bipartisan Marijuana Effective Drug Studies Act of 2017, or the MEDS Act, because I believe that scientists need to study the potential benefits and dangers of marijuana. I am very concerned about recent reports that DOJ and DEA are at odds on marijuana research, particularly when it comes to granting applications to grow marijuana for further research. Can you clarify the position of the Justice Department regarding these applications?

Background:

  • Last week, Hatch visited Utah’s Hope Lodge and reiterated his support for medical marijuana research. [LINK]
  • Earlier this month, Hatch wrote an op-ed calling for medical marijuana research. [LINK]
  • Last month, Hatch spoke on the need for medical marijuana research to potentially save lives. [LINK]
  • Also last month, Hatch introduced the Marijuana Effective Drug Study Act of 2017, or MEDS Act. [LINK]