Feds May Spend Nearly $70 Million On Marijuana
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Feds May Spend Nearly $70 Million On Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on March 26, 2015 at 15:23:11 PT
By Matt Ferner
Source: Huffington Post
Washington, D.C. -- The federal government announced Monday that it is prepared to spend tens of millions of dollars on marijuana research through the University of Mississippi, which houses the only federally legal cannabis garden in the United States.The new contract, worth a maximum of $68.7 million over five years, was awarded by the National Institutes of Health Monday and posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website. The award is a renewal of a contract with the university that the federal government has held for more than 40 years.
In a statement provided to The Huffington Post, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an arm of NIH that oversees the marijuana operation at Ole Miss, said, "To serve the research community, NIDA has tried to build farm capacity flexible enough to accommodate various levels of demand for research marijuana and marijuana products over the next five years."NIDA is already obligated to spend $1.5 million on Ole Miss marijuana research for the 2015 fiscal year, the organization told HuffPost. And while the costliest possible scenario has the federal government spending close to $70 million on marijuana research, NIDA explained that demand at Ole Miss is currently low, and the feds expect they'll spend closer to $8 million over the five-year period unless demand increases.Last year, Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly, the lead scientist at Ole Miss's marijuana lab, appeared to be getting ready for a large harvest, telling the Los Angeles Times that his team was preparing to grow 30,000 cannabis plants. But it's not clear how many plants the lab intends to cultivate in the coming year.University of Mississippi researchers in the marijuana lab declined to comment to HuffPost on the federal award or the size of the plant garden in 2015.The marijuana grown at Ole Miss is the only marijuana legally cultivated, processed and distributed by the federal government. Those crops are also the sole source of marijuana used in Food and Drug Administration-sanctioned research into the plant's medical potential. The university's Marijuana Research Project began in 1968, and the school has supplied medical marijuana to a small number of patients to treat various ailments under the banner of its New Drug program. The program was closed off to new patients in the early 1990s, and while there were as many as 30 patients receiving marijuana from the program at one point, as of 2014 there were only four patients still alive and receiving medical marijuana.Critics contend that federal research efforts focus too much on the negative effects of the drug, rather than its potential medical benefits. The Drug Enforcement Administration, which must approve any potential researcher's license to handle and test the drug, has also been accused of obstructing research into the plant.However, a bill recently introduced in Congress aims to break up the federal government's marijuana monopoly by allowing additional research facilities to grow the plant. The bill, known as the CARERS Act, would also reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous substance, which could make research easier.In a 2014 call for research facilities, the federal government said that it was seeking a facility that could "cultivate and harvest, process, analyze, store, and distribute cannabis (marijuana) for research." The notice also said that researchers hoped to "extract cannabis to produce pure and standardized cannabis extracts" containing various concentrations of THC (the main psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana), CBD (a non-psychoactive compound) and other cannabinoids.The government said that it was interested in a facility that would "develop new methods for growing cannabis plants containing high THC, low CBD; high CBD, low THC; and equal strength of CBD and THC."A number of studies in recent years have shown the medical and public health potential of cannabis. Purified forms may attack some forms of aggressive cancer, and marijuana use has been tied to better blood sugar control and may help slow the spread of HIV. One study found that legalization of the plant for medical purposes might even lead to lower suicide rates.To date, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes and another 12 have legalized the limited medical use of low-THC strains of marijuana. Four states, along with Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana, and 19 states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of the plant.Still, under federal law marijuana remains illegal and classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it's considered one of the "most dangerous" substances "with no currently accepted medical use."Source: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post	Published: March 26, 2015Copyright: 2015, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite:  Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #9 posted by schmeff on March 30, 2015 at 14:55:30 PT
$70 Million Weed
The Drug War equivalent of the $3,000 toilet seat.
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Comment #8 posted by keninsj on March 27, 2015 at 22:42:09 PT:
Sam Adams
That cracked me up, I started thinking about the George Carlin routine "shoot"
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Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on March 27, 2015 at 13:03:23 PT
money money money
Dr. Schwag got a new contract! Only the US government could spend $70 million on schwag weed!
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on March 27, 2015 at 12:27:20 PT
Legalization in Colorado
Seems to have had effects on some businesses. Perhaps the funeral business? Less fatal highway accidents. Less suicide. Less accidental overdose of factory drugs.
The factory herb business... agriculture has begun.More agriculture. More jobs. More health. Less funerals. I don't mind if they want to study it and what they extract from it. Have at it. I think most people will find for themselves that the right way, for them, is the whole way. We've all known, anecdotally, for eons... that cannabis... has built in buffers of some sort. It would be interesting to know what amazing secrets each element of each plant holds. That, that I call, "Buffer", alone, might be the cure... or agent for remission/maintenance, or amazing palliative, of schizophrenia or some other illness or injury. 
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Comment #5 posted by Mr D on March 27, 2015 at 09:03:39 PT:
I agree with FoM
Five more years of 'government research'(because this plant has never been researched in history-we truly don't know a darn thing about this plant[sarcasm]) while it remains a schedule one and the war continues. That's five more years for them to work their word magic to 'justify' it's continued existence as schedule one. Or schedule two. While I do realize how big that would be, it wouldn't mean a thing to me. (aka, Great, I'll be treated like I'm cooking meth, or making cocaine.) Schedule two is not enough. Not in a world where all you have to do is show your licence to buy alcohol and/or tobacco. Anyways, just more of the same.p.s. Will the cannabis being used for research be the equivalent of studying non-alcoholic beer for alcohol research? (because there is a trace amount of alcohol in non-alcoholic beer for those who didn't know) p.p.s. "One study found that legalization of the plant for medical purposes might even lead to lower suicide rates." Maybe I'm not looking in the right places but I can't seem to find depression as a qualifying condition for MMJ in legal states. Maybe it's the squeaky wheel syndrome. Parents of children with epilepsy 'squeaked' and they're getting the oil they need (no pun intended). Vets with PTSD are squeaking and they're moving in the right direction. What about the people who take poisonous pharmaceuticals for depression and off themselves because that's 'one of the side effects'? I guess they're not squeaking loud enough. 
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on March 26, 2015 at 20:07:17 PT
Minions serving minions.
This is still being paid for by the bunch that claims cannabis is a Schedule I substance alongside heroin!A bunch that claims cannabis is more dangerous than cocaine or meth!It's not just a little too late, it's from discredited, untrustworthy minions. Not right being done finally... THEY ARE NOT GOING TO GET IT RIGHT, LATE OR EVER.It is thieves, murderers, cheaters, liers, bigots and what have You. Bad people. And they're waisting money on top of all that, in doing their dirty deeds.The last thing these vampires are doing is considering the everyday citizens.I'm not fooled. Just ripped off.
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on March 26, 2015 at 18:24:30 PT
First they knock over the safe in the back room, now they hit the cash register on the way out!
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on March 26, 2015 at 17:55:24 PT
A little too late for me too! Legalize it and work on Marijuana's different medicinal values at the same time.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on March 26, 2015 at 17:02:53 PT
I'm not feelin' it.
To people who have been involved with this issue for many years, this seems like a joke.I'm uninspired. Some firecrackers are duds. Dud's are dangerous. 
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