Only 14 Researchers Approved to Study “Smoked Marijuana on Human Subjects”

The White House’s 2011 National Drug Control Strategy boasts of having allowed “109 researchers to perform bona fide research with marijuana, marijuana extracts, and marijuana derivatives such as cannabidiol and cannabinol.” This is an obvious dig at marijuana law reform advocates who complain that the federal government says marijuana has no medicinal value yet hampers research into the question.

What they fail to mention is that there are only 14 researchers in the entire country allowed to study marijuana’ s effects on human subjects. Among those scientists licensed to work with either cannabis or its constituents — primarily in animal models — most are involved in research to assess the drug’s “abuse potential, physical/psychological effects, [and] adverse effects,” the report stated. In other words, they were charged with finding “bad stuff” in cannabis.

It’s one thing to say cannabis has no medicinal value, but you should have plenty of research to back up your claims. Commenting on the report, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “Only in an environment of absolute criminal prohibition would this or any administration purport to the public that it is acceptable to allow no more than fourteen researchers to clinically study a substance consumed by tens of millions of Americans for therapeutic or recreational purposes. This acknowledgement illustrates once again the administration’s supposed commitment to ‘scientific integrity’ does not apply to cannabis.”

It continues to amaze many that such a liberal administration shows so much hostility to medical marijuana. Wouldn’t this be a perfect time for President Obama to show his compassionate side and call off the federal dogs? Alienating voters who voted for you the first time around before you come up for re-election isn’t the smartest strategy. One has to wonder what Obama’s ultimate motive is.

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