Just a few days after welcoming attendees to the International Cannabis Business Conference in Kauai, Hawai’i Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard continued her effort in the fight for sensible cannabis laws, by urging the Department of Health and Human Services to allow research of medical marijuana as a pain management alternative to opioids. Representative Gabbard, who understands that marijuana needs to be removed from the Controlled Substances Schedule that currently considers marijuana in the same category as heroin, joined a bipartisan group of congressional members in a letter calling on HHS to consider a new tactic as the opioid crisis hurts our nation.

“As the opioid epidemic continues to ravage communities across the country, we must pursue every available path to prevent, treat, and ultimately end America’s reliance on these highly addictive drugs,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

In addition to the common-sense step of studying the potential benefits of cannabis to assist in our struggle against opioid addiction and overdoses, Rep. Gabbard understands that the federal government needs to end a failed war waged against our own citizens and treat cannabis use the same as we treat alcohol and tobacco. Like Senator Bernie Sanders, Gabbard has introduced legislation to end federal marijuana prohibition:

“With the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, we can begin to rectify decades of misguided law enforcement policy and focus on solutions. We can work for people like veterans and healthcare advocates instead of pharmaceutical lobbyists who will continue to push dangerous and addictive painkillers even amidst an opioid epidemic. Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition is the best way forward for our criminal justice and healthcare systems.”

It can be extremely frustrating to see our federal government move so slowly on implementing sound cannabis and drug policies. As the evidence mounts that medical marijuana can help those battling opioid addiction and that legalizing and regulating cannabis benefits states, more and more elected officials will start catching up with their constituents. Thankfully, we have some great representatives, like Tulsi Gabbard, who are leading the way in the halls of Congress, working on behalf of the people.

The International Cannabis Business Conference continues to advocate for full cannabis legalization at the next ICBC event in San Francisco, February 1st and 2nd 2018. Early Bird Tickets are available now!