By Jacqueline Corba
Freshman Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is on a mission to pass a bill that would allow for expanded medical marijuana research.
"Research can demystify who is right and who is wrong," Gaetz told Cheddar's CannaBiz Tuesday. "It's kind of nice to let the science guide our policy making."
Last week, the Medical Marijuana Act sponsored by Gaetz passed the U.S. House Judicial Committee with bipartisan support.
It's a "landmark moment" Gaetz said; it's the first time Republicans in control of Congress have passed a medical marijuana bill through committee. Next it will head to the House floor for a vote.
"I'm super excited about what potential cannabis has in healthcare, and I think we'll learn a lot more if we're not so stupid as a government to make the research illegal," Gaetz said.
The act would give research institutions "safe harbor" to study the potential uses, benefits, and risks of the drug, which remains a Schedule I classification under the federal law alongside heroin and LSD.
"I think that marijuana policy has in many ways been victimized by the overall chilled relationship between the White House and the Department of Justice," Gaetz said.
"I think it is really Jeff Sessions who opposes medical marijuana, and I'm not entirely sure he and President Trump will be on one another's Christmas lists going forward."
For Gaetz, Washington is obstructing its own view.
"Washington just needs to get out of the way so that we can really see the potential."
For full interview click here.