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Utah House Passes Resolution to Lower Marijuana's Drug Class

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Image Medscape.com

The Utah House passed a resolution Wednesday asking the federal government to lower marijuana’s drug class in order to allow research on its effects.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 11 would call on the federal government to lower marijuana from a Schedule I drug, where it sits with other illegal substances such as heroin and LSD. It would also encourage the state’s health care facilities to research the medical affects of marijuana.

The House voted unanimously in support of the resolution. Rep. David Lifferth, R-Eagle Mountain, pointed out that the federal government hasn’t made any progress in attempting to study marijuana. 

“This really should not be our responsibility,” he said. “We have a federal government with a DEA and the FDA. They spend billions of dollars trying to identify what is good and what is not good.”

While debate rages over two medical marijuana bills this legislative session, everyone seems to agree that more research would be beneficial.  Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, is co-sponsoring a medical marijuana bill narrowly passed in the Senate that would allow patients with certain illnesses to use plant extracts for treatment. He says the support for the resolution could have two effects on how House members vote for those bills.

“One would be, 'Let’s go ahead and speed this up because we just said let’s make the feds responsible for what they do,'” he said. “The other could be the opposite result, which is, 'We’ve just said put it back on the feds, so let’s wait for them to make a decision.'”

Froerer says both medical marijuana bills passed in the Senate will be heard in the House Health and Human Services Committee Monday morning.

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