Congress is currently debating a proposal that would increase research of marijuana by the federal government. And the law's biggest champion is an 83-year-old Republican Senator from Utah, who's really come out swinging for cannabis.
Republican Senator Orrin Hatch proposed a law that would increase research of marijuana by the federal government a few weeks ago. He cited the ability for medicinal cannabis to help “thousands of Americans suffering from a wide-range of diseases and disorders.” And he's even gone a step further, saying there's nothing to fear about medical marijuana.
“I have to make these decisions based upon what’s right for the people of Utah and the people of this country. And there’s no reason to be afraid of medical marijuana,” Hatch said.
Hatch has a history of promoting health-related causes. Since he joined Congress in 1977, he's helped sponsor over 600 health-related bills and even tackled prescription drug abuse in the early 2000s. (Although he was also one of the politicians who helped strip away the DEA's ability to fight the opioid epidemic, which was revealed earlier this week by the Washington Post and 60 Minutes.)
While it's good to see a senior Republican politician promoting medical marijuana in Congress, it also makes it even more illogical that these politicians don't support full legalization. If there's no reason to be afraid of medical marijuana, why is there a reason to be afraid of recreational marijuana? It's the same thing! If this drug is supposedly so "dangerous," why are these politicians ok with sick people taking it? It's so ridiculously hypocritical.
So while Hatch's bill may allow more research to come to light about the positives of medical marijuana, let's not let him and other Republicans off the hook for not supporting full legalization.
(h/t Roll Call)