Bruce Kennedy ~ WeedWorthy.com ~

A group of U.S. lawmakers is calling on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of remove federal barriers on medical marijuana research and to ease new medical research on cannabis and its derivatives.

 The letter, published Thursday and addressed to Chuck Rosenberg, the DEA’s Acting Administrator, was signed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), along with Senators Cory A. Booker (D-NJ), Jeffrey A. Merkley (D- OR), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO) and Ted Lieu (D-CA).

It also requested a meeting with Administrator Rosenberg if he does not take action on medical marijuana.

The Senators and Representatives noted that more than half of U.S. states have passed laws legalizing medical marijuana, while 42 states allow the medicinal use of cannabis-derived substances.

“Nevertheless, federal policies continue to hinder medical researchers’ ability to study the benefits of cannabis, particularly as a therapy for conditions which are resistant to other forms of treatment,” their letter continued.

It also cited information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which has reportedly determined “that medication naturally derived from the cannabis plant has a medical use.”

Just last week, several of the senators cited in the Thursday letter were signatories on another letter to the DEA; requesting an update on the DEA’s decision about whether to adjust marijuana's classification as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Drugs with a Schedule 1 classification are currently considered as having "no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse."

According to that earlier letter, the DEA previously indicated that a new scheduling determination would occur in the "first half of 2016."

“While we appreciate the DEA’s willingness to maintain an open dialogue with our offices, the senators continued in their June 23 letter, "we are concerned that ‘the first half of 2016’ is coming to a close and no rescheduling announcement has been made.”

The senators added they believe the rescheduling of cannabis and the resolution of regulatory barriers to research on marijuana “is a time-sensitive matter that requires immediate action,” asking for a briefing on the DEA’s decision regarding rescheduling “no later than July 5.”

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