While recreational marijuana usage gains slow but steady support on the state level, there has yet to be any major initiatives coming from the federal government to legalize the drug. However, progress is being shown in a recent move by the Obama administration that is lifting long-standing limitations. What move is that exactly, and what are its implications for the future of marijuana legalization on a federal level? Read on to find out more.
Recently, the Obama administration removed the need for the Public Health Service review requirement, a restriction that had made it next to impossible for scientific research regarding marijuana to be conducted. This provision made exceptionally difficult to obtain approval for marijuana-based research from the Department of Health and Human Services. The restrictions it placed on the study of marijuana were so great that they even made that relatively innocuous drug more difficult to study than highly dangerous ones, including cocaine and heroin. Now, scientists can begin legitimate studies that will evaluate the medical properties of marijuana. These studies and their findings could potentially be the first step in a journey towards the eventual federal legalization of medical marijuana.
So far in the marijuana legalization debate, support in favor of medical marijuana has been far easier to come by than support for recreational use. This is not to be unexpected; people are generally more comfortable with the idea of a long-time taboo subject being broached for the sake of people’s well-being and health. However, once the medical properties of marijuana are established through these recently-approved studies, many may grow to see the utility of marijuana and broaden their perspectives on this important issue.
Already 23 states and the District of Columbia have passed marijuana legalization laws specific to medical marijuana. As research continues and progress is made, medical and recreational marijuana may one day become the norm for all states in the nation.
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