Congressmen question DOJ’s decision to halt cannabis research

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A group of congressmen from states with legal medical or recreational marijuana programs sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions challenging the Department of Justice’s move to stop researching cannabis.

According to the Denver Post, Reps. Jared Polis, D-Colorado; Matt Gaetz, R-Florida; Dana Rohrabacher, R-California; and Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, cited a Washington Post report that the Justice Department halted plans that would have allowed more marijuana research.

The letter – first obtained by Tom Angell of MassRoots – also cited a Scientific American report that more than two dozen entities have completed marijuana research applications but none have been approved.

According to the Denver Post, the lawmakers wrote:

“It is worrisome to think that the Department of Justice, the cornerstone of American civil society, would limit new and potentially groundbreaking research simply because it does not want to follow a rule.

“We write to inquire whether the allegations raised … are true, and, if so, to understand the Department of Justice’s rationale in refusing to process these applications.”

The lawmakers also requested that the DOJ restart the cannabis research application process because “it is in keeping with President Trump’s campaign promises, and the best interests of the American people.”

Blumenauer, Polis and Rohrabacher are founding members of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, which is intended to bolster the marijuana industry’s presence on Capitol Hill.