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Florida Legislators Introduce Medical Cannabis Research Bill

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Two members of the delegation in Florida have announced their support for a bill that would allow for the expansion of medical cannabis research.

According to Florida Daily, Rep. Donna Shalala, who also previously served as U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services under former President Bill Clinton, and Rep. Matt Gaetz are backing the “Expanding Cannabis Research and Information Act,” which they introduced last week.

Shalala’s offices official statement claimed the bill would create a research agenda for cannabis, would identify the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a sole leader in collecting proper data and reclassifies cannabis as a Schedule III controlled substance. “For years now, states across the country have been liberalizing their cannabis laws without making corresponding investments in developing a better scientific understanding of the short and long-term benefits and effects of cannabis on human health,” Shalala stated. “By rescheduling cannabis and directing our national research infrastructure to study and collect data on how it impacts health outcomes, we are not only bringing federal cannabis policy into the 21st century, but we’re also guaranteeing that we do so safely.”

Gaetz also expressed his pride in working with Shalala to support this bill. “This bipartisan and bicameral legislation will improve, expedite, and streamline cannabis research: By rescheduling cannabis to Schedule III, this bill will lessen the conflict between states and the federal government, and by designating ‘Centers of Excellence in Cannabis Research,’ it will help unlock cures for America’s most vulnerable populations,” he stated.

Although this effort is being supported on a nationwide scale, the state of Florida has also seen its fair share of progress recently. A local legislator also recently introduced a bill to decriminalize cannabis and some areas cities putting a hold on persecuting cannabis cases because of the legality of hemp.