Putting Pot Under The Microscope

Putting Pot Under The Microscope
Posted by CN Staff on March 10, 2009 at 05:24:21 PT
Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, CA -- At the heart of the debate about marijuana's medicinal value is a dearth of academic research into its therapeutic properties. For 40 years, the federal government has frustrated such study by restricting cultivation of marijuana for research to a single source, the University of Mississippi. Most recently, the Bush administration denied the application of a well-regarded botanist at the University of Massachusetts to establish another cultivation facility, despite a ruling by an administrative law judge determining that it should go forward.
For eight years, professor Lyle Craker has struggled to obtain a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration to grow research-grade cannabis. His proposal is to supply marijuana to DEA-approved researchers who have undergone a rigorous review and approval process by the U.S. Public Health Service, and whose protocols have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The DEA, however, has behaved as if this serious scientist wants to start a backyard plot for campus parties.In February 2007, after nine days of testimony from expert witnesses and administration officials, light broke through the DEA's bureaucratic murk: Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner issued an 87-page opinion saying that the supply of marijuana from the University of Mississippi is insufficient in quality and quantity and that Craker's project should go forward. In a case study of governmental intransigence, the DEA dithered for two years. Then, a few days before the Obama administration took power, acting Administrator Michele Leonhart issued a final order denying Craker's application.Members of Congress have urged Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. to amend or overrule the order, and he should do so. Then he should go further and change the culture of the agency. Instead of thwarting the advancement of science, the DEA should encourage cannabis research. As California and the U.S. government continue to debate the future of medical marijuana, what we need is a body of work on the drug's efficacy in treating a variety of illnesses and conditions. Instead, we have a collection of small studies and individual testimony. On Monday, President Obama signed a "scientific integrity presidential memorandum" and promised that his administration would base its public policies on science, not politics; the DEA is one of many federal agencies ready for enlightenment.Note: The attorney general should heed calls to end the DEA's obstruction of serious research into the medicinal value of marijuana.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Published: March 10, 2009Copyright: 2009 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:MAPS Rejects UMass Request To Grow Marijuana Rejects Professor's Bid To Grow Marijuana
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on March 11, 2009 at 19:36:04 PT
Medical Marijuana Goes Forward in House Committee
By Andy Birkey March 11, 2009A pair of bills advancing quickly through the Minnesota Legislature would allow seriously ill Minnesotans to use medical marijuana to alleviate pain. The Senate bill passed a key Senate committee on Tuesday afternoon, and on Wednesday morning the companion bill passed the House Civil Justice Committee without any dissenting votes. Each bill faces at least one more committee before reaching the floor in either chamber, and support for the bill continues to build.“It really feels like the momentum is building and this is the year we’re going to get this done,” Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, chief author of the Senate bill, said in a statement on Wednesday. “One-quarter of the country now protects medical marijuana patients from arrest, and there is simply no reason to use Minnesota’s police resources to arrest the sick for trying to relieve their suffering.”The House Civil Justice Committee rehashed many of the supporters’ testimony and opponents’ concerns. The committee can be heard here (MP3).
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Comment #4 posted by Vincent on March 11, 2009 at 08:20:02 PT:
I always believed that the DEA is composed of ignorant, reactionary animals and everything that they've done since 1973 has proven that I'm right.
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Comment #3 posted by GeoChemist on March 10, 2009 at 09:34:53 PT
Now it is time for us to see if the president's remarks about sound science guiding policy will hold true.
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Comment #2 posted by OuttaLuck on March 10, 2009 at 07:44:20 PT:
Crossed fingers
Since scientific research should be based on science, is the new policy, maybe it will change for cannabis too?
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Comment #1 posted by ripit on March 10, 2009 at 06:48:05 PT
right on!
let em have it with both barrels!
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