SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Orrin Hatch supports efforts in Utah and elsewhere to study the medicinal effects of marijuana, but condemns the federal "regulatory acrobatics" required of researchers studying the plant.
"Under current law, those who want to complete research on the benefits of medical marijuana must engage in a complex application process and interact with several federal agencies. … The longer researchers have to wait, the longer patients have to suffer," Hatch, R-Utah, said Friday through his spokesman.
The senator said the application process frequently requires more than a year for researchers to resolve.
"Currently, the (Food and Drug Administration) estimates that a drug takes a minimum of seven years to move from initial studies to FDA approval," Hatch told KSL. "The regulatory hoops researchers have to jump through significantly delay the production of potentially life-changing medications that Americans need."