Pubdate: Wed, 01 Dec 2010
Source: Union, The (Grass Valley, CA)
Copyright: 2010 The Union
Author: Stephen Morseman


Proposition 19's failure will not be the end of the marijuana
legalization effort. Rest assured it will continue unabated, but we
should focus our attention on better protecting medical marijuana patients.

Doctors need more data to choose the best treatment option for their
patients. We should call for the expansion of cannabis research for
FDA approved studies in order to settle medical marijuana at a
national level through its approval as a prescription medication.

Research is currently blocked by a federal monopoly over the marijuana
supply, held by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. NIDA's mission
is to study the harmful effects of illicit drugs; with this in mind
they have denied studies looking into the therapeutic potential of
cannabis research materials even after their protocols obtained FDA
approval. Another source of marijuana is clearly needed.

Research must continue, but DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen
Bittner's recommendation to license Professor Lyle Craker to cultivate
marijuana at UMASS Amherst was rejected by acting DEA Administrator
Michelle Leonhart.

It's time we stood up to the government and ask why the DEA has chosen
to uphold an obstructionist federal monopoly.

Stephen Morseman

South Lake Tahoe
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