Today, the Obama administration have altered a 4-point ruling on medical marijuana, making research into its therapeutic properties much easier.
According to the Washington Post, before today privately funded medical marijuana research needed to adhere to the following steps;
1. Submit your study proposal to the Food and Drug Administration for a thorough review of its “scientific validity and ethical soundness.”
2. Submit your proposal to a separate Public Health Service (PHS) board, which performs pretty much the exact same review as the FDA.
3. Get a marijuana permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration.
4. Finally, obtain a quantity of medical marijuana via the Drug Supply Program run by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which maintains a monopoly on medical marijuana grown for research in the U.S.
Step 2 has been a cause for concern amongst advocates and members of congress for some time now, deeming the PHS review redundant. The Obama administration today agreed with this, and effective immediately, medical marijuana researchers will no longer have to submit their proposal to the PHS board.
Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority, a pro-legalization group said to the Post;
The president has often said that drug policy should be dictated by unimpeded science instead of ideology, and it’s great to see the Obama administration finally starting to take some real action to back that up.