New to the art form? This Wall Street Journal article will get you orientated. Also, for more information on how some of these titles mislead lawmakers and the citizenry, find some academic commentary from Brian Christopher Jones here:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

FASTR Access to Federal Research Funds

A bipartisan coalition of Senators and Representatives has introduced the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act, which seeks to enhance access to federally funded research. The coalition is composed of Senators John Cornyn (R., TX), Ron Wyden (D., OR) and Representatives Mike Doyle (D., PA), Kevin Yoder (R., KS), and Zoe Lofgren (D., CA). 

A partial press release is provided below.



March 18, 2015
Sen. Cornyn: Drew Brandewie, 202-224-0704 Sen. Wyden: Sam Offerdahl, 202-224-5039 Rep. Doyle: Matt Dinkel, 202-225-2135
Rep. Yoder: CJ Grover, 202-225-2865
Rep. Lofgren: Peter Whippy, 202-225-3072

Bipartisan Coalition Introduces FASTR Act To Improve Access To Federally-Funded Research

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan coalition of members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives today introduced the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act, a bill to improve public access to federally-funded research.

The FASTR Act’s introduction coincides with “Sunshine Week,” a movement to highlight the need for transparency and openness from the federal government. ...

The FASTR Act would:

-          Require each publicly-funded researcher to submit an electronic copy of the final text of peer-reviewed research and ensure that manuscript is available for free online access within six months.
-          Spur innovation and encourage job creation by allowing faster access to research that can help individuals and businesses turn ideas and concepts into goods and services.
-          Encourage private investment in information technology to capitalize on government research.
-          Ensure a higher return on taxpayer investment that could be worth around $1.6 billion.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bipartisan Weed Act

Sens. Cory Booker (D., NJ), Rand Paul (R., KY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D., NY) have released their long awaited medical marijuana bill, which contains an exceedingly tortured acronym title: the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act

According to the press release, the bill hopes to accomplish six major goals: 
1) Recognize States' Responsibility to Set Medical Marijuana Policy & Eliminate Potential Federal Prosecution
The CARERS Act amends the Controlled Substances Act so that states can set their own medical marijuana policies. The patients, providers and businesses participating in state medical marijuana programs will no longer be in violation of federal law and vulnerable to federal prosecution.
(2) Reschedule Marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II, Recognizing "Accepted Medical Use"
Marijuana is currently listed as a Schedule I drug, meaning it does not currently have accepted medical use in the United States. The CARERS Act moves it to Schedule II, recognizing what Americans already know: marijuana has a legitimate medical purpose.
(3) Allow States to Import Cannbidiol (CBD), Recognized Treatment for Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders
The CARERS Act amends the Controlled Substances Act to remove specific strains of CBD oil from the federal of definition of marijuana. This will allow youth suffering from intractable epilepsy to gain access to the medicine they need to control their seizures.
(4) Provide Veterans Access
Doctors in Department of Veterans Affairs facilities are currently prohibited prescribing medical marijuana. The CARERS Act would allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana to military veterans.
(5) Permit Financial Services and Banking for Marijuana Dispensaries
Right now, medical marijuana business is a cash business. The CARERS Act provides a safe harbor to banks and credit unions, their officers and employees that provide financial services to marijuana-related businesses that engage in activities pursuant to state law.
 (6) Expand Opportunities for Research
The CARERS Act removes unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles for researchers to gain government approval to undertake important research on marijuana.