SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers are sending a clear message to the federal government — they want marijuana reclassified to a less regulated class in order to allow for additional medical research.

The House passed the resolution unanimously Wednesday.

"The federal government is way, way behind in realizing that there are some medical possibilities with cannabis," said floor sponsor Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem.

Schedule I drugs have "no currently accepted medical use in the United States," according to the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Diversion Control website.

Schedule I drugs are difficult to research, Daw said. In order to find the benefits of medical marijuana, cannabis needs to be classified as a Schedule II drug.

Schedule II drugs "have a high potential for abuse" but are recognized as having some medical benefit.

When Colorado legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use, the Colorado Legislature was left to determine an appropriate dosage of cannabis, said Rep. Marie Poulsen, D-Cottonwood Heights.

"This information, this research and development, would be really helpful to us as we debate these bills that are coming to us," Poulsen said.

Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, said he'd "like to see the federal government allow us to gather the information that's necessary to make good policy decisions, both at the state and the federal level."

The resolution, SCR11, did not receive a single opposing vote in either body.

"To me, this is more than a resolution to make us feel good. This is important stuff, and we are seeing a federal government that has, for far too long, dropped the ball on this and kind of ignored the problem," Daw said.

The resolution will now go to the governor for his action.

Email: elarson@deseretnews.com