Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, and more states are poised to legalize it this year. As swiftly as laws on the state level are being passed to allow the use of medical marijuana, the federal government is not budging on this issue. The reason often cited is that there is not enough research to prove the need to legalize it for medicinal purposes.
The Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus welcomed Dr. Kent Hutchison. Dr. Hutchison outlined research on the health effects of medical marijuana and he discussed how the potential risks need to be weighed against the potential benefits. He highlighted the clear need for updated and timely empirical evidence regarding the potential health benefits and risks of cannabis to guide policy making and consumer decisions regarding cannabis use, especially given the number of people who are turning to cannabis as an answer to opiate addiction and chronic pain.