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The United States House of Representatives has passed a bill that would criminalize fentanyl-related substances, but it also includes provisions that would make it easier to study marijuana and psychedelics.

The bill, known as the Halt All Lethal Trafficking of Fentanyl (HALT) Act, would classify fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I drugs, which are considered to have no medical value and a high potential for abuse. However, the bill also includes language that would exempt researchers from certain requirements that have made it difficult to study marijuana and psychedelics.

Specifically, the bill would allow researchers to obtain Schedule I licenses from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) more easily, and it would remove some of the bureaucratic hurdles that have made it difficult to conduct research on these substances. The bill has been praised by advocates of marijuana and psychedelic research, who argue that the current regulatory framework has made it difficult to study the potential medical benefits of these substances.

For example, researchers have had to jump through numerous hoops to obtain the necessary licenses and permit to conduct studies, and they have often been limited in the amount and type of research they can conduct. The bill has also been criticized by some who argue that it could lead to increased penalties for drug offenses and could further criminalize drug use. Some have also expressed concern that the bill could be used to target people who use marijuana or psychedelics, even if they are using these substances for medical or therapeutic purposes. Despite these concerns, the bill has received bipartisan support in the House of Representatives, and it is expected to be taken up by the Senate in the coming weeks.

If it is passed by the Senate and signed into law by the President, it could have significant implications for the future of marijuana and psychedelic research in the United States. Overall, the Fentanyl Analogues Control Act is a complex piece of legislation that includes both positive and negative provisions. While it would make it easier to study marijuana and psychedelics, it could also lead to increased penalties for drug offenses and could further criminalize drug use. As the bill moves through the legislative process, it will be important to carefully consider its potential implications and to ensure that it is implemented in a way that promotes scientific research and protects the rights of individuals who use these substances.

By John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.