While medical marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, a new bill passed by Congress and waiting on President Donald Trump's signature could allow some patients access to cannabis, and possibly other drugs as well.
The House of Representatives passed the "Right to Try" bill last week after the Senate approved it last summer. The "Right to Try" bill allows patients with terminal illnesses to use drugs that have not received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval as long as the medications have passed certain benchmarks. The main criteria that is needed is that the drug has undergone Phase 1 clinical trials.
Many have pointed out that this criteria fits several illegal narcotics, such as marijuana, ecstasy and mushrooms. All have undergone Phase 1 clinical trials, and therefore would fit the criteria.
The question is whether the bill forbids medical marijuana and illegal narcotics. While a summary of the bill says the medications must be in accordance with state law, there's no actual text in the legislation that establishes that fact. So it's conceivable that a terminally ill patient in a non-medical marijuana state could use cannabis under this bill.
The bill, obviously, was not intended to be used for marijuana users. Advocates for the bill believed it would help remove red tape and give patients access to experimental treatments when they have no other options. Essentially, it allows for a "Hail Mary" drug trial.
President Trump has advocated for the bill in the past, so it's likely he will sign it in the coming days.
And now we'll just have to see how it plays out with medical marijuana.
(h/t Marijuana Moment)