Obama Set to Remove Barrier To Marijuana Research
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Obama Set to Remove Barrier To Marijuana Research
Posted by CN Staff on August 10, 2016 at 17:28:28 PT
By Catherine Saint Louis and Matt Apuzzo
Source: New York Times
Washington, D.C. -- The Obama administration is planning to remove a major roadblock to marijuana research, officials said Wednesday, potentially spurring broad scientific study of a drug that is being used to treat dozens of diseases in states across the nation despite little rigorous evidence of its effectiveness.The new policy is expected to sharply increase the supply of marijuana available to researchers.
And in taking this step, the Obama administration is further relaxing the nation’s stance on marijuana. President Obama has said he views it as no more dangerous than alcohol, and the Justice Department has not stood in the way of states that have legalized the drug.For years, the University of Mississippi has been the only institution authorized to grow the drug for use in medical studies. This restriction has so limited the supply of marijuana federally approved for research purposes that scientists said it could often take years to obtain it and in some cases it was impossible to get. But soon the Drug Enforcement Administration will allow other universities to apply to grow marijuana, three government officials said.While 25 states have approved the medical use of marijuana for a growing list of conditions, including Parkinson’s, Crohn’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, the research to back up many of those treatments is thin. The new policy could begin to change that.“It will create a supply of research-grade marijuana that is diverse, but more importantly, it will be competitive and you will have growers motivated to meet the demand of researchers,” said John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.The new policy will be published as soon as Thursday in the federal register, according to the three officials, who have seen the policy but spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it.It is unclear how many additional universities would receive licenses to grow marijuana, but the new policy does not set a cap on the number who could qualify. Any institution that has an approved research protocol and the security measures needed to store dangerous drugs can apply.Researchers will still have to receive approval from federal agencies to conduct medical studies of marijuana, including from the D.E.A. and the Food and Drug Administration. Those whose projects are funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse will also need its consent.But drug policy advocates, experts and researchers predicted that increasing the number of institutions growing marijuana will have a significant practical effect. The University of Mississippi’s monopoly on that role has been a barrier.“It’s clear that this was a significant hurdle in limiting the quantity of clinical research taking place in the U.S.,” said Paul Armentano, the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.Researchers often had difficulty getting some kinds of marijuana, including ones with large amounts of THC, the main ingredient in the drug that gets people high. Under the University of Mississippi monopoly, Mr. Hudak of Brookings said: “If you were a researcher who thought a product with high THC would help someone with a painful cancer, you were out of luck. You couldn’t access high THC marijuana in the same way you could buy it in a market in Colorado,” where it is legal.As recently as June, Dr. Steven W. Gust, a special assistant to the director of National Institute on Drug Abuse, had disagreed with critics who say the monopoly has stifled research. “In the past, NIDA has been able to provide marijuana for every federally qualified research project,” he said recently in an emailed response to questions.Earlier this year, the D.E.A. had suggested that it would possibly remove marijuana from the list of the most restricted and dangerous drugs by end of June. But this week, the agency did not take such a step.Dr. Orrin Devinsky of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at New York University Langone Medical Center called it “deeply disappointing” that the agency had not done so. He said the scientific data overwhelmingly indicated it should not be listed as such a dangerous drug.The federal government still classifies marijuana as a highly addictive drug without medical value, as it has for 46 years. The D.E.A. did not say when it will answer two petitions demanding a change of that policy, filed separately in 2009 and 2011.Others were relieved that the D.E.A. had moved to allow more institutions to grow marijuana for research, but not taken it off the list of the most dangerous drugs.“They’re looking at the science, taking a nuanced view,” said Kevin A. Sabet, a former Obama administration drug-policy adviser and president of the group Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “It’s a good day for science.”Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Catherine Saint Louis and Matt Apuzzo Published: August 10, 2016Copyright: 2016 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  Medical Marijuana  Archives
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on August 11, 2016 at 10:24:22 PT
This is wrong... yet it's business as usual.
DEA mines Americans' travel records to seize millions
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on August 11, 2016 at 09:29:15 PT
This is what candidate Clinton meant
When she said it was too big, there was too much money in the drug war, in the prohibition of drug use, to shut it down.There are many people attached to the drug war's engorged teats. There's a lot of lip lock to deal with. I'm so tired of endless wars and the people that seem to get off on them.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on August 10, 2016 at 21:40:16 PT
You're right. We, as reformers are no worse off. No better. No worse. It would have been nice to see a step toward sanity... but I really couldn't find any reason to expect anything better from them. It's the freaking DEA. They are a big part of the problem. They are, to boot, an illegal and unconstitutional organization...birthed out of the squirming hatred in the brain of one Richard M. Nixon.Some people, who will be made to suffer terribly because of this, will, of course, be worse off because of this. It would have been better for us all if they could have been helped. This insures the harm of this injustice continues unabated for a while longer yet.Yes. Of course we will end this injustice and waste. I just hate to see them drag it out and cause more casualties and grief all along the way.I'm suddenly reminded of Robin's grief and loss. I wish we could have saved her. I believe legalization might have saved her. Legalization would have saved a lot of people...on both sides.It's so sad and so ridiculous and a hideous waste and loss.No more casualties!
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on August 10, 2016 at 20:59:51 PT
It's been so ridiculous for so long.
The bureacrats and prohibitionists are bad people. They love their high paying jobs. No matter who they might trod underfoot to keep those jobs. They like busting heads. They are little more than brute beasts. Their "Feet are quick to shed blood". Way quick. It's just a job.... that they want to keep forever...a career, and the enforcers are all just following orders, so if somehow the law they enforce is unjust, it's not really their problem or fault. They are just following orders. And it's a job they love.Yes. It is absolutely ridiculous, and the struggle for justice and liberty for all continues.
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on August 10, 2016 at 20:36:02 PT
A calculated time waster.
The DEA is representative of what?Disappointing? Yes.Unexpected? NoFrom what I thought I understood, the DEA is unable to reschedule cannabis; it is not legally able to do so. They are unable, legally, to even speak of any positive regarding the superplant. Like robots, they move.Waiting for an organization to do something they can not do IS A WASTE OF TIME.& notice, citizens are not waiting on the DEA or any other federal government arm for permission to RE-legalize that which God indicates He created and says is good on literally the very 1st page. WE ARE DOING IT AND DOING IT AT AN INCREASING RATE.A mosquito.-0-Certain stages of a grand tour are described as one which a racer can not win the overall on but a racer could lose it on. The current DEA's announcement could have helped Us win, but it will not cause Us to lose. -Because We have already won; We simply need to better control the rouge puppets.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 10, 2016 at 19:59:12 PT
This is getting down right ridiculous. Even Obama's older daughter got her picture taken smoking at a concert.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on August 10, 2016 at 19:26:31 PT
No... nothing good can come out of the DEA.
DEA Rejects Attempt to Loosen Federal Restrictions on Marijuana
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on August 10, 2016 at 19:13:26 PT
Can any good come out of the DEA? 
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Comment #3 posted by HempWorld on August 10, 2016 at 18:32:30 PT
Thanks FoM!
I would say, reschedule as IV or III, the very least!Congrats to the DEA if they do so.Thank you, blessed be! Jah Live!
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on August 10, 2016 at 18:19:14 PT
DEA To Make Long-Awaited Marijuana Announcement
DEA To Make Long-Awaited Marijuana Announcement ThursdayPublished: Aug 10, 2016 6:24 p.m. ETA long-awaited decision that could determine the future of the U.S. marijuana industry is expected Thursday.The Drug Enforcement Administration said late Wednesday that it would publish its response to a congressional petition to reschedule marijuana in the Federal Register on Thursday morning.The announcement could have far-reaching implications for the industry, particularly if the agency chooses to change the way it regulates marijuana. Marijuana is currently filed under Schedule I, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and has no accepted medical value.The DEA’s response could move the drug to a less-restrictive schedule, which would allow more research under continued regulation. It could also deschedule it, which would completely remove it from the agency’s regulation, or take no action. The DEA’s email didn't indicate which course the agency might select.Complete Article:
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on August 10, 2016 at 18:13:37 PT
“It’s a good day for science.”
Thank you Mr. Kevin A. Sabet!But, this begs the question: Why was science not able to study this benign plant for over 45 years... ? (or more)Or, are you being sarcastic?According to my own research: In the 30's a consortium was formed among the predominant pharmaceutical companies (can't name names) for 4 years they studied cannabis, which, at the time was a legal and recognized medicine for many ailments. From 1933 until 1937, they found out that it cures cancer and many other diseases and so in 1937 it was made illegal immediately.Thank you big pharma!And now, we have the 'priviledge' to 'study' it.
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