The federal government has a "responsibility" to facilitate sensible research into marijuana's medical benefits, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and seven other senators urged in a letter issued last week to multiple federal drug and health officials.
"While the federal government has emphasized research on the potential harms associated with the use of marijuana, there is still very limited research on the potential health benefits of marijuana -- despite the fact that millions of Americans are now eligible by state law to use the drug for medical purposes," theletter reads.
The senators praised the White House's recent lift of what was a mandatory bureaucratic review process, long criticized by researchers and lawmakers alike, that had stifled scientific research into the plant. But, they also encouraged the federal drug and health agencies to do more.
For patients in states with active medical marijuana programs, the senators recommend the agencies use their existing tools to collect national data, conduct surveillance and perform clinical trials.
"It is time for the federal government to pick up those tools and use them," the letter reads.
The senators also implored the agencies to collaborate and support "independent scientists" by eliminating needless federal barriers that stifle research into the plant.
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