For the first time, a standalone piece of marijuana reform legislation has been sent to the U.S. president’s desk. The “Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act” is just one signature away from historic enactment.
Just weeks after President Joe Biden issued a mass marijuana pardon and directed a review of the drug’s scheduling status, the U.S. Senate approved a House-passed bipartisan cannabis research bill on Wednesday.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he is continuing to have “productive talks” about a broader package of cannabis reforms. He hopes to pass them before the end of Congress’ lame duck session, according to Marijuana Moments.
The bill “would eliminate the red tape that hinders cannabis research, opening the door for new innovative treatments derived from cannabis,” Schumer said ahead of the vote. “If you’re one of the millions of Americans who deals with conditions like Parkinson’s or epilepsy or post-traumatic stress, or any number of other conditions, cannabis might hold promising new options for managing these diseases.”
“We need to do the research first,” he said. “And the federal government, sadly, has been woefully behind the times on this front. This bill will help fix that.”
Numerous marijuana measures have been filed and advanced in each chamber in recent sessions, however, reform has consistently stalled before reaching the president.
The bill was filed in July and quickly moved through the House before being taken up by the Senate, which approved the legislation under unanimous consent.