The White House Just Took a Major Step Forward For Medical Marijuana
The Obama administration has removed a major regulatory barrier standing in the way of desperately needed research into medical marijuana.
On Monday, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which oversees the United States’ overall drug-fighting efforts, announced it will no longer require scientists seeking to study medical marijuana to pass a stifling Public Health Service review process, the Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim reports.
While this may seem like a small step for marijuana research, the recent announcement could pull the lynch pin that opens the floodgates for a wave of future scientific marijuana research that could add to the already growing list of potential medical applications of the substance.
What’s being changed: The review process was an additional hurdle of bureaucracy for non-government-funded researchers to pass before they could legally launch any marijuana-related studies. All studies involving drugs that the Drug Enforcement Administration classifies as Schedule I (no medical value and high potential for abuse) require researchers to obtain pre-approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the DEA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse in order to legally get their hands on the necessary supplies, but the PHS requirement was bafflingly unique to marijuana.