The Obama administration has removed a bureaucratic obstacle for privately-funded research of the medicinal properties in marijuana that had long stifled scientific research on marijuana.
Previously, if researchers wanted to conduct research on marijuana they’d need perform months of paperwork to propose what they wanted to study and why, and usually resulted in their study being denied.
“I think it’s a sensible change; but people are being delusional if they think this will result in a flood of research on the drug,” said Kevin Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, an anti-legalization group. “But it’s a step in the right direction as the development of a non smoked cannabis medication goes forward.”
More bureaucratic hurdles for marijuana research still exist – more than any other drug. The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) monopoly on legal marijuana production doesn’t exist for any other drug, meaning that heroin and cocaine remain easier for researchers to work with.
“The next step should be moving marijuana out of Schedule I to a more appropriate category, which the administration can do without any further Congressional action,” said aid Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority, a pro-legalization group. “Given what the president and surgeon general have already said publicly about marijuana’s relative harms and medical uses, it’s completely inappropriate for it to remain in a schedule that’s supposed to be reserved for substances with a high potential for abuse and no therapeutic value.”