House votes to expand marijuana research.

The bill passed with strong bipartisan support.

The House on Wednesday passed a bill that would make it easier for scientists to conduct marijuana research in states where the drug is legal.

The bill passed on a voice vote with strong bipartisan support.

It’s the second piece of marijuana legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled chamber in recent days. On Friday, the House passed a landmark bill that would end federal marijuana penalties and erase some past convictions.

What’s the context? Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle agree that more research into the health effects of marijuana is needed. The bill is co-sponsored by two lawmakers who stand at opposite ends of the spectrum on marijuana legalization: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is the unofficial cannabis czar on Capitol Hill, while Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) is known for his work on an appropriations rider that restricts Washington D.C. from taxing and regulating a marijuana market.

Marijuana research legislation also has strong support in the Senate, where lawmakers from both parties, including Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), have proposed marijuana research legislation. This bill, however, does not have a Senate equivalent.

What does this bill do? Marijuana research now is limited to being based on a few variations grown by the University of Mississippi, the only entity that can legally grow marijuana under federal law for research. [Read More @ Politico]

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