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GOP Senator Uses Pun-Filled Speech to Push for Medical Marijuana
Author: Sara Brittany Somerset  14/09/2017 - 16:23:00

Orrin Hatch is an 83-year-old Utah Republican Senator, who despite being “strongly against recreational marijuana use” holds the opposite opinion towards medical marijuana, and he has a very punny way of showing it. For an octogenarian senator, his loquaciousness and command of sativa-oriented slang is surprising. 

“It’s high time to address research into medical marijuana,” Hatch said yesterday in the Senate. “Our country has experimented with a variety of state solutions, without properly delving into the weeds on the effectiveness, safety, dosing, administration and quality of medical marijuana. All the while the federal government strains to enforce regulations that sometimes do more harm than good. To be blunt, we need to remove the administrative barriers preventing legitimate research into medical marijuana, which is why I’ve decided to roll out the MEDS Act. 

MEDS is the Marijuana Effective Drug Study Act of 2017, a “joint effort,” which Orrin hatched along with Democratic senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii. The MEDS bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to establish, with respect to marijuana research, a new federal registration process that is separate from the process for research involving other Schedule I drugs; to establish a process for registering persons to manufacture or distribute marijuana for purposes of either research or the commercial production of certain approved drugs containing or derived from marijuana; and modify other requirements related to marijuana research and production.

“I urge my colleagues to join Senator Schatz and me in our joint effort to help thousands of Americans suffering from a wide range of diseases and disorders,” Hatch said in a statement. “In a Washington at war with itself, I have high hopes that this bipartisan initiative can be a Kumbaya moment for both parties.”

Hatch is not the first Republican interlocutor to put his name to a bill making access to medical marijuana easier, or to promote medical marijuana research, but he’s arguably the most prominent.

According to Quartz, his masterful use of herb vernacular was obviously orchestrated to “appeal to conservatives, by adding a subtle anti-government twist.”

“Regulatory hoops significantly delay the life-changing medication Americans need,” he said, arguing that his bill would ensure quality control, safety and thorough study by scientists, rather than allowing people who aren’t licensed medical practitioners to make personal recommendations at dispensaries.

Hatch also encouraged his colleagues not to ignore mounting evidence that cannabis has medicinal benefits, which are well documented in cases of seizure inducing conditions.

He cited the case of “a young man” from Utah who takes 17 epilepsy medications daily, which pale in comparison to the benefits of medical marijuana. The senator said his “friend” and others continue to suffer needlessly as the federal government languishes on the subject, while there is safe, effective treatment available.

Hatch also noted that too many Americans are addicted to opioids and that medical marijuana could provide a safe, non-narcotic alternative for the treatment of chronic pain.

Conservative Christian politicians at the state level—in Missouri, South Carolina, Texas and Hatch’s home state of Utah—have increasingly been pushing for the legalization of medical marijuana for just this reason.

“I understand that medical marijuana is a difficult issue but we can’t shrink from our duties,” Hatch said. “I hope my colleagues today won’t stay away from making the hard choices.”

We at HIGH TIMES hope so too. Perhaps one day even Senator Blunt will be on board.

You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana news right here.

Original article from hightimes.com:GOP Senator Uses Pun-Filled Speech to Push for Medical Marijuana


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