Joyce Votes to Allow America’s Cutting-Edge Scientists to Conduct Medical Cannabis Research

Apr 04, 2022
Opioid Crisis
Press

Continues to Urge POTUS to down schedule cannabis as a matter of public health

WASHINGTON, DC – This evening, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) voted for H.R. 5657, the Medical Marijuana Research Act, a bipartisan bill of which Joyce is a cosponsor. Introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), the bill aims to streamline the process for researchers to apply and get approved to study cannabis by amending the Controlled Substances Act. As Co-Chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, Joyce and Blumenauer have long worked to remove burdensome impediments to legitimate medical research.

“In true bureaucratic hypocrisy, the federal government has held a patent on medicinal cannabis since 2003 yet continues to classify cannabis as a Schedule I drug, keeping it federally prohibited for medical purposes and more highly regulated than synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which killed more than 55,000 Americans in 2020 alone,” said Joyce. “For the sake of patients across the country, as well as the United States’ medical research superiority across the globe, we cannot allow outdated federal policies to continue to obstruct legitimate medical research. I am proud to be a cosponsor of this legislation and was pleased to see the immense bipartisan support it received tonight on the House floor. I will continue to work with my fellow Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs to achieve impactful reform and believe that our bipartisan efforts will one day be the key to unlocking prohibition.”

Twice in the last year, Joyce and his late colleague Rep. Don Young urged President Biden to down schedule cannabis as a matter of public health in order to grant immediate research and medical access. In their requests, the two Republican Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs pointed to the need to allow long-forbidden studies to inform our nation’s cutting-edge scientists on everything from multiple sclerosis and epilepsy treatments to highway impairment standards, and highlighted how America cannot afford to sideline a safe pain-management alternatives amid a record-breaking death toll fueled by opioids.

Recently, in February, Joyce joined former Senator Cory Gardner in authoring an op-ed in USA Today, highlighting that while America remains trapped in antiquated cannabis policies, other countries – including but not limited to the United Kingdom, Canada, South Korea, Germany and Israel – have modified their laws to allow for medical research and varying degrees of legality. 

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