Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida wants lawmakers to grow up and start let researchers study cannabis.
"A lot of the older Republicans say, 'Well, there's not enough research to justify rescheduling,' and then they stand in the way of the research," Gaetz told Fox Business. "It's so stupid that we won't allow common-sense proposals because there's not enough research and then they have laws that block the research. We should act like adults here."
Gaetz added that despite these roadblocks, there is perhaps no better time to advance marijuana reform since former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is no longer around to dissuade President Trump from allowing medical marijuana.
"In every conversation I've had with the president about medical cannabis, he's been very supportive," Gaetz said. "But Jeff Sessions did so much to get in the way we really couldn't get the ball rolling."
Another roadblock is the Russia investigation, according to Gaetz. Once that has wrapped up, it will be easier for Trump and the Department of Justice to work on marijuana reform.
"I think it'll be a lot easier when the White House is actually talking to the Department of Justice," Gaetz said. "Because of the Russia investigation, that relationship was so chilled that normal direction that a White House could give the department—allowing states to be able to experiment and really realize the full federalist model where they could try different things and best practices would emerge."
Gaetz himself has recently filled a bill called The Medical Cannabis Research Act, which would would force the DOJ to expand their list of approved research-grade marijuana manufactures—a list that currently touts a grad total of one facility. The bill would also protect federally funded research institutions that choose to conduct cannabis research. And it would loosen the Department of Veterans Affairs medical marijuana regulations, which currently prohibit VA doctors from recommending medical cannabis to vets.
Good research is, of course, the foundation of any good legislation, so it's hard to disagree with Gaetz on this one. It's time for lawmakers to grow up and let the scientists do their work.
h/t Marijuana Moment