White House Greenlights Medical Marijuana Research

A longstanding research restriction on pot has been lifted, giving scientists more ability to study this taboo plant.

by Cari Jorgensen

White House Greenlights Medical Marijuana Research (UrbanFarmOnline.com)

Marijuana is classified under Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substance Act, meaning it’s labeled as a drug that has no medical benefit. However, scientists are trying to change that. The research process, though, has been a little difficult.

Research investigating the health benefits medical marijuana may potentially have always involved reviews by the Public Health Service before the studies could even begin. While that restriction was intended to make sure the clinical trials were scientifically valid, according to Mother Jones, it acted as a hindrance instead, stopping the launch of the studies. That hindrance was removed on Monday by the White House.

Receiving the green light to study the benefits of marijuana to those with health concerns is a big deal to scientists interested in it, Christopher Brown said in a Mother Jones report. Brown is a spokesperson for Americans for Safe Access, an organization advocating access to marijuana for medical research.

“You have a lot of interest in experimental research on medical cannabis and this shows that you are starting to see policies aligned with that,” Brown told Mother Jones. Americans for Safe Access are urging the government to continue loosening the restrictions. Currently, scientists who wish to study the medical benefits must obtain the substance from a grow facility approved by the DEA. Obtaining it through such a grow facility can take over a year, especially if the scientists need specific strains.

What do you think of the White House’s green light? Should restrictions be lifted even more?

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