Representative Scott Allen (R-Waukesha) began circulating a letter to colleagues in the Wisconsin state legislature asking federal officials to streamline medical research and collect data surrounding cannabis and marijuana. The letter will be sent to Wisconsin’s congressional delegation when circulation concludes.
Marijuana is currently classified by the federal government as a Schedule I substance, which means there is a high likelihood of abuse and no accepted medicinal use. Drugs in this classification face significant hurdles to being researched in a scholarly manner.
We should point out that Rep. Allen is opposed to legalizing recreational marijuana, but believes there might be some room for expanded research into the use of cannabis for medical purposes. “For decades, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been the agency which oversees scientific processes into the safety and efficacy of medicines,” said Rep. Allen. “Now policymakers are being asked to preempt that process and legalize a drug for medicinal or recreational use. We need more information. The FDA and federal law enforcement can serve as conduits in gathering relevant data. Congress needs to take action to expedite relevant research.”
You can read the full text of his letter by following this link.
Editorial Note: While the letter is a big step for the Wisconsin GOP, this is a common excuse they use to sit on their hands and do nothing. There are over 2 million peer reviewed papers on the medical benefits of Cannabis. If they were truly engaged in the topic the information they are seeking is already out there. So while I appreciate the circulation of this letter, I also understand there is an election cycle about ready to begin and Republicans are likely considering the prospect that voter backlash may upset their current majority in the state legislature. I can’t help but wonder if the attempt is sincere or simply a preemptive move to minimize damage to the GOP in the upcoming election.