A small, but vital step in the right direction came out of Washington this week that could help in the effort to decriminalize marijuana nationwide.
The Obama administration has decided to eliminate a regulatory obstacle for medical marijuana studies, which means new and needed research could begin in the not-too-distant future. As we expect, new research will spur more evidence of marijuana’s medical benefits. Ultimately, influential studies of the plant will help to decriminalize marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug. And from there, the possibilities are endless. More medicine. Safer business practices. Healthier and happier people.
While still in the early stages, and a small ripple in a big, messy governing environment, this news brings hope.
Meanwhile, in Maine, the regulatory process has stalled due to a partisan political battle being played out both on the news and in the capitol building. LD 1059 – An Act Relating to Marijuana Testing Facilities (sponsored by Democrat Rep. Richard Farnsworth (Portland)) – is stuck in the mud with the rest of the democratically sponsored bills that the Governor is threatening to veto. However, if Washington continues to move in the direction of progress, this bill could gain attention before the end of the year.
The act would allow a licensed, certified marijuana testing facility in Maine to analyze contaminates in and potency and cannabinoid profile of samples of marijuana used by a dispensary, registered primary caregiver or qualifying patient. Any labels on medical marijuana that included potency or cannabinoid profile would be required to be verified by a licensed testing facility.
So, why test?
More progressive states and even countries have been testing marijuana for a while now. In order to be fully accepted in the medical community, doses of medical marijuana need to be viewed by the public as safe and consistent. Patients need to feel safe with state sanctioned verification that their medical marijuana does not contain contaminants and is the potency and cannabinoid profile that the label says it is. .
LD 1059 would help to eliminate these risks. Medical marijuana patients should know exactly what’s in their medicine, and they should feel safe and comfortable buying the plant for their needs. We’ve come too far with medical marijuana to be selling a bad product. Sound regulation and testing will help in this effort.