By Richard Farrell
The University of Mississippi has been quietly churning out medical marijuana in order to keep the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) supplied with research material. NIDA needs it to keep up with demands from states across the country. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) budgeted 21 kilograms for 2014. It just bumped that up to 650 kilograms.
The Blaze explains that NIDA needs the $650,000 stockpile to service the orders its customers continue to place. Being the only legitimate source in unbending states, of which around a dozen are considering legalization in some form, leaves NIDA with no other choice. If the government monopolizes NIDA’s supply, then the government has to allow NIDA to grow enough to meet demands.
Huffington Post reports that the DEA was unaware of NIDA’s increasing demands when it made its original allocation. Perhaps someone at the DEA turned a blind eye to NIDA’s needs, but now it looks an embarrassing oversight on the DEA’s part.
The Federal Government’s position is that marijuana is an illegal Schedule I drug, which classifies it as a dangerous substance with no accepted medical use. Clearly, some officials have not heard how pure medical marijuana is the opposite of its current federal classification. As witness to that, Huffington Post cites 30 studies NIDA has conducted regarding marijuana’s potential medical benefits.
Huffington Post goes on to mention that the Federal Government has funded over 500 marijuana-related research projects since 2003. The 69 projects for 2012 cost the treasury a cool $30 million, making medical cannabis big money in more ways than one.
In March 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services signed off on a study exploring the potential benefits of administering palliative pot to vets with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Fifty volunteers will each receive two joints a day fresh from the University of Mississippi’s garden.
A post by Veterans for Medical Marijuana suggests the medical benefit of marijuana on PTSD is its ability to remove painful associations that keep recurring long after the traumatic trigger has passed. It recommends low to moderate medical marijuana doses, and oral applications to keep blood levels stable.
The increase in federal funding confirms officials are expecting further growth in efforts to research medical marijuana, which may also indicate more states expect to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. The only other alternative is that they are anticipating changes on Capitol Hill. Is this too left of center to be a runner?