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Anti-Marijuana Group to Present Plan to Ease Marijuana Research Restrictions in D.C.

May 28, 2015 • 2:36 PM EDT
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2 MIN READ  •  By Michael Berger
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Today, Smart Approaches to Marijuana will present a plan to officials in Washington that aims to ease restrictions on scientific research into marijuana.  The group was co-founded by former United States Congressman Patrick Kennedy and opposes the legalization of marijuana.

Kevin Sabet, the president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana said, “Let’s put research into the hands of legitimate scientists, not pot profiteers.”

What does the plan do?

The plan will be presented by former Congressman Kennedy and aims to ease the restrictions associated with marijuana research. The plan calls for the following actions:

  • The government will allow multiple entities to grow marijuana for research purposes. Currently, the University of Mississippi is the sole provider of marijuana for federally sanctioned research through a contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services will eliminate the lengthy review process associated with marijuana research.
  • The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will eliminate certain regulatory requirements for research into cannabidiol (CBD). The DEA will work with states to allow a pure CBD product to be distributed more broadly for research.

United States strict policies causing a “brain drain”

Marijuana advocates have said that the federal government’s strict rules on marijuana research have prevented researchers from performing necessary studies in the United States. These strict polices have caused the United States to experience a “brain drain” with regard to scientists interested in learning about the medical benefits associated with marijuana.

Dr. Alan Shackelford moved to Israel after seeing U.S. drug laws block clinical studies into promising applications that treat illnesses which conventional medicine cannot treat. Dr. Shackelford is a Harvard-trained physician who was Charlotte Figi’s doctor.

“I went to Israel because I was frustrated,” he said. “Israel is the one place in the world that combines the scientific expertise, world-class universities and scientists. It’s so exciting.”

Outlook

Currently, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana and three states have legalized recreational marijuana. For the first time ever, the Gallup poll and the General Social Survey found that a majority of the public favors the legalization of marijuana.

Mark Kleiman, who was hired by Washington State to consult on its move to recreational marijuana, called Smart Approaches to Marijuana’s plan a good step.

“I don’t think there’s any question that cannabinoids (constituents of marijuana) have medical utility, and we have to find out what that is,” Kleiman said.

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Authored By

Michael Berger

Michael Berger is Managing Partner of StoneBridge Partners, LLC and Founder of Technical420.com. Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Michael was an Equity Research Analyst at Raymond James Financial covering the Energy Sector. Michael has been featured in publications such as The Street, Bloomberg, US Money News, and hosts various cannabis events across North America.

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