Arizona

New Congressional Legislation Holds Promise For Cannabis & Therapeutic Psychedelics Reform

New Congressional Legislation Holds Promise For Cannabis & Therapeutic Psychedelics Reform

A series of cannabis- and psychedelics-related amendments have been cleared by a House committee for floor votes. The amendments would be part of large-scale spending legislation.

One pro-reform amendment that’s advancing would encourage the Food and Drug Administration to approve rules allowing CBD as a dietary supplement and food ingredient.

The House Rules Committee also moved forward a rider that could provide funding for research into Schedule I drugs such as psilocybin, MDMA, and ibogaine. Current studies have shown potential for psychedelics’ effective use in treating mental health issues.

The legislation isn’t without its detractors. Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) issued a proposal to the Department of Health and Human Services appropriations bill to eliminate a rider currently in the bill that “allows federal funding to go to institutions of higher education that are conducting research on marijuana.” Lesko represents Arizona, a state with adult-use legalization on the books.

Also blocked are two marijuana reform measures from Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) —aimed at appropriations legislation for the Department of Housing and Urban Development— which would have made it so marijuana possession or consumption could not be used as the sole basis for denying access to public housing.

“It’s disappointing that those who rely on public support for housing will continue to be discriminated against for their state-legal choices,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said.

Despite research into cannabis being an overwhelmingly bipartisan issue, top federal drug officials have repeatedly urged Congress to support policies that make it easier to study the risks and benefits of the plant.

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