Hatch Opens Window to Research on Medical Marijuana

Several U.S. senators formerly opposed to cannabis legalization, including Orrin Hatch, now say they’re open to more clinical research on the marijuana plant compound known as cannabidiol, or CBD.

Reports Politico:

The Obama administration has declined to enforce federal drug laws in states that have legalized recreational pot, and Congress last year also approved legislation telling the feds not to meddle with any state-approved medical marijuana programs. The special case of CBD, which does not get users high, might provide the biggest opening. “I understand the desire for caution. We’re Congress. We act slowly,” said Hatch, the Senate’s longest serving Republican and the current chairman of the Finance Committee. “But we must remember that these are people’s lives we’re dealing with. These are people for whom a five- or ten-year delay is not an inconvenience, but a potential death sentence.”

Utah, Hatch noted, was “certainly no redoubt of hippie liberalism,” but in March 2014 became the first of 15 states to legalize use of the CBD oil. Now, he’s pushing the Senate to pass a bipartisan bill that would remove CBD from the definition of marijuana under federal law, giving parents a green light to buy the medicine without the threat of DEA agents busting them.