Hatch introduces bill to encourage medical marijuana research

SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Orrin Hatch unveiled a bipartisan bill this week that would allow researchers to study the medical benefits, if any, of marijuana.

Hatch introduced the legislation along with Sen. Chris Coons, a Republican from Delaware, and two Democratic senators — Sen. Brian Schatz from Hawaii and Sen. Thom Tillis from North Carolina.

In a statement, Hatch said policymakers need more scientific evidence to make informed decisions on medical cannabis.

“In my home state of Utah, for instance, debates earlier this year on whether to expand access to marijuana for medical purposes highlighted the need for improved scientific research,” Hatch said.

Marijuana and its dozens of active components have shown promise for treating a range of illnesses.

However, as a schedule I substance, marijuana is considered to have “no medical use and a high potential for abuse.” It shares the designation with drugs like heroin and ecstasy and is

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