*Model of brain regions involved in moral cognition: the frontal pole (yellow), rostral anterior cingulate cortex (red), left superior temporal sulcus (green), and precuneus/ posterior cingulate cortex (blue). Effective connectivity within a hypothetical neural network involved in the implicit recognition of moral issues

Members of Congress are not happy with Sessions’ obstruction of the licensing process.  In April 2018, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R–Utah) and Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) sent the attorney general a letter in which they asked him to provide the Senate with a timeline for processing applications from potential manufacturers of research marijuana.  They also asked the DOJ to update applicants on the review process. Not only did the DOJ miss [the suggested May 15th, 2018] deadline, but it doesn’t seem interested in playing catch-up.

Four license applicants I interviewed in late June told me they’ve received no official updates from either the DEA or the DOJ in months. Applicants who have spoken to congressional offices working on this issue say their contacts are equally frustrated by Sessions’ obstruction of the DEA’s licensing process. (Reason obtained the identities of the 26 initial applicants through a Freedom of Information Act request to the DEA.Reason is not identifying which applicants provided information for this story so as not to jeopardize their chances of approval. ) “No ‘formal’ communication for months,” one applicant told me by email. “They do answer questions I’ve asked, although on a limited basis.” “No formal communication,” another told me. “Hoping to hear more soon.” “Just silence,” a third applicant told me over email. The Hatch-Harris letter captures both the widespread support for studying cannabis and the disproportionate power Sessions has to maintain the status quo. “Expanded research has been called for by President Trump’s Surgeon General, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the FDA, the CDC, the National Highway Safety Administration, the National Institute of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the National Academies of Sciences, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse,” the senators wrote. “In order to facilitate such research, scientists and lawmakers must have timely guidance on whether, when, and how these manufacturers’ applications will be resolved.”

Original Article (Reason):
Defying Congress, Jeff Sessions keeps blocking medical marijuana research
Artwork Fair Use: Cáceda R, James