Congress tends to shy away from discussing marijuana, possibly because most of its members are in the minority of opinion on marijuana legalization. But on Thursday one of the House's most powerful committees held a 30-minute debate over allowing police officers to use medical marijuana.

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee held a hearing yesterday to discuss a proposed piece of legislation that would study the benefits of allowing police officers to use medical marijuana. Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, who created the proposal, gave an impassioned speech in which he said Congress has lied to the American people about cannabis.

“The federal government has lied to the American people for a generation about cannabis,” Gaetz said. “There is substantial evidence that indicates that there is a case to be made for the medical efficacy of cannabis in the treatment of mental health and particularly PTSD.”

He also criticized the federal government for the “idiotic, indefensible policy in this country where we list cannabis as a Schedule I drug.”

Last week Gaetz spoke about how medical marijuana could help patients with breast cancer.

Members from both parties joined with Gaetz to support the proposal, as well as a separate bill he's working on that would allow the federal government to research medical marijuana for all people. Others spoke against it, saying they were worried about relaxing regulations on medical marijuana. 

Gaetz eventually withdrew his proposal without forcing a vote because he hopes Congress will help him work on a separate piece of legislation that will allow medical marijuana research. 

Perhaps the best line from Gaetz's speech is the following:

“Our policies should follow the science and not this ridiculous, antiquated dogma perpetuated by lies through the federal government,” he said.

We need more Matt Gaetz's in Congress.

(h/t Marijuana Moment)