The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 placed marijuana in the most restrictive use category, Schedule I, deeming it a drug with no medicinal value and high potential for abuse. To do clinical research with marijuana, you need a DEA license, and you need to get your study approved by the FDA. When it comes to actually obtaining research-grade marijuana, though, you have to go through the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a process that has proved problematic for some researchers determined to study the potential medical benefits of pot.
The University of Mississippi grows and harvests cannabis for studies funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, yet because NIDA’s congressionally mandated mission is to research the harmful effects of controlled substances and stop drug abuse, the institute isn’t interested in helping establish marijuana as a medicine.
Brad Burge, the director of communications for the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Research (MAPS), an organization currently embroiled in a lawsuit with the DEA over the right to establish a medical marijuana farm. “There’s a lot of investment in marijuana remaining illegal.”
“The United States government has gone to great lengths to prevent [medical] research on whole-plant marijuana,” he says, though research into isolated components of the plant has gone on.
“We have an FDA-approved protocol, but the only way to actually get marijuana for the study, the only federally approved source, is at University of Mississippi,” he says. “NIDA refused to sell us the marijuana for this study.”
Researcher after researcher tells the same story Cancer, PTSD, HIV… blanked.
So my question to you is… How do you really know?