Pubdate: Mon, 19 Jan 2009
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Copyright: 2009 Globe Newspaper Company
Author: Rick Doblin


THE US Drug Enforcement Administration dealt a major blow to science
with its decision to preserve the National Institute on Drug Abuse's
monopoly on the supply of marijuana available for FDA-approved
research ("UMass loses marijuana lab bid," Health/Science, Jan. 13).
The decision is an inappropriate injection of political ideology into
what should properly be a question of science.

Pharmaceutical companies interested in making marijuana a prescription
medicine are stopped dead in their tracks by the institute's monopoly.
If a company gained access to the institute's tightly guarded stash,
spent millions on research, and obtained FDA approval, it would then
be forced to pay the institute's supplier whatever the asking price.
As a result, not a single company is investing in marijuana research.

Thirteen states have been forced to turn to the political process to
provide patients with the medical use of marijuana. Prompted by the
DEA's support for the institute's monopoly, that number will surely

Sick people who prefer to get their medicine from the corner pharmacy,
not the corner dealer, are hoping that Obama's DEA will bring an end
to this farce.

Rick Doblin


The writer is president of the Multidisciplinary Association for 
Psychedelic Studies. 
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