May 05, 2021

Neguse, Armstrong Urge Protection of Cannabis Research in Appropriations Process

Washington D.C.—Today, Representatives Joe Neguse and Kelly Armstrong sent a bipartisan letter to Appropriators in Congress urging inclusion of specific language in the upcoming FY2022 Labor-HHS appropriations bill that would prohibit the Department of Education from withholding funding to higher education institutions that are participating in cannabis research. Universities that receive federal funding for research, education, capital projects, and healthcare must comply with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act which forbids the manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of any controlled substance. As a result, there are currently many higher education institutions that are hesitant to conduct research on the cannabis plant because of fear of losing their eligibility to receive financial support from the Department of Education. The letter affirms that evidence-based research regarding cannabis should be encouraged to provide our nation with the expertise necessary to better understand cannabis and its effects. 

“Top tier higher education institutions, many right here in Colorado, have long pioneered scholarly advancements in previously understudied fields,” says Congressman Joe Neguse. “We need scholars who are equipped with the knowledge and certification to study issues surrounding cannabis and health, especially as more states legalize cannabis. Institutions of higher education should not be penalized for their research in this field, in particular in states such as Colorado, where cannabis is legal.”

Representatives Joe Neguse and Kelly Armstrong are asking that the following specific language be included in the FY2022 Labor-HHS appropriations bill to allow higher education institutions the freedom to conduct compelling cannabis research without a loss of funding: 

None of the funds provided by this Act or provided by previous Appropriations Acts to the Department of Education shall be withheld from an institute of higher education solely because that institute is conducting or is preparing to conduct research on marihuana as defined in 21 U.S.C. § 802 (16).

Read the letter here.