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Monday, December 12, 2005

Marijuana Research 

A researcher at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is trying to grow marijuana for research purposes. In a shocking turn of events, the DEA and NIDA are opposed to learning more about the plant. Their reasoning?
The [DEA], as well as the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which formally runs the marijuana research program, argues that it is not in the public interest to have more than one source of marijuana, in part because it could lead to greater illicit use. What's more, they said in legal briefs, the Mississippi program supplies all the marijuana that researchers need. Agency officials declined to comment further.
So the government controls the strain, strength and quality of all marijuana available for research in the country. They claim that allowing a professor at a well-known university to grow plants for research would "lead to greater illicit use" and "decline to comment further."

Hmmm...I wonder if it's really about illicit use? Perhaps it has more to do with controlling the marijuana that's available for research:
The problems . . . are not limited to winning approval to buy the Mississippi marijuana. Doblin and other researchers contend that the government marijuana is low in quality and potency and could never be a stable source of basic ingredients if the Food and Drug Administration ever did approve a marijuana-based medication.
To do research into plant-derived medication, you have to have a decent specimen of the plant. The U.S. government is doing a lot to make sure that doesn't happen. I wonder why?

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