The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF), which was established by and is named after the actor who has the disease, continues to advocate for cannabis research. As reported by Marijuana Moment, the group is currently pushing Congress to pass three bills relating to cannabis research and medical marijuana; the Medical Cannabis Research Act, VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act and Expanding Cannabis Research and Information Act.
“Our role on the public policy team is to work with Congress and the administration to ensure there is access and funding for research and care initiatives that can benefit people living with Parkinson’s and, right now, that includes access to medical cannabis for research,” Ted Thompson, the foundation’s senior vice president of public policy, said. According to the MJFF site, the public policy team is currently tracking these bills and aims to inform members of Congress and their staff as to why the bills matter to the Parkinson’s community.
The bills MJFF supports have various goals. The Medical Cannabis Research Act would require the Justice Department to approve more research-grade cannabis manufacturers, provide protection to research organizations that study marijuana, and authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to tell patients about the option to participate in federal cannabis studies.
Under the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act, the VA would investigate marijuana’s therapeutic potential in regard to treating conditions that often affect veterans, like PTSD or chronic pain.
The Expanding Cannabis Research and Information Act would reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I to Schedule III within the U.S. Controlled Substances Act (CSA), and alter current regulatory requirements in order to permit institutions of higher learning to study cannabis.
Earlier, in 2018 and 2019, MJFF also submitted comments to the Food and Drug Administration in favor of rescheduling.
“Right now, more research is needed to better understand if cannabis (including marijuana and CBD products) could treat Parkinson’s disease,” the foundation site states.