GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch Pushes Medical Marijuana As Opioid Alternative

A conservative Republican U.S. senator plans to speak about the “possible benefits of medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids” on the Senate floor on Wednesday afternoon, and is introducing bipartisan legislation aimed at expanding cannabis research.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Orrin Hatch, who has represented Utah in Congress since 1977, has historically not been a champion of marijuana law reform, and continues to oppose full recreational legalization.

But according to prepared remarks distributed by his office, he plans to say in a speech that “in our zeal to enforce the law, we too often blind ourselves to the medicinal benefits of natural substances like cannabis.”

“While I certainly do not support the use

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