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Obama Administration Major Removes Barrier To Marijuana Research

notice set to be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday indicates that the Obama administration is preparing to eliminate a huge barrier to marijuana research.

Previously, prospective marijuana research needed approval from a Public Health Service (PHS) review and additional approval from the Food and Drug Administration, among other agencies. Marijuana advocates have long argued against the review, saying that no other drug was subject to that scrutiny.

Additionally, in May 2014, a bipartisan group of legislators wrote the secretary of Health and Human Services to eliminate the review. When the PHS review was first established in 1999 following a 1998 report from the Institute of Medicine, it was supposed to spur research, but in practice, they argue, it turned out to be little more than another bureaucratic hurdle, legislators argued.

The Department of Health and Human Services now agrees, and stated in the notice that the review “is no longer necessary to support the conduct of scientifically-sound studies into the potential therapeutic uses of marijuana” because it overlaps with other processes.

“Today’s decision by HHS is a significant step toward improving an antiquated system that unfairly targets marijuana above and beyond other substances in research,” Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer, said in a press release. “I hope this action will facilitate easier access to marijuana for medical researchers. Considering the widespread use of medical marijuana, it is absolutely essential that we allow doctors and scientists to research the therapeutic benefits and risks of its use.”

The elimination of review is effective immediately.

“The president has often said that drug policy should be dictated by unimpeded science instead of ideology, and it’s great to see the Obama administration finally starting to take some real action to back that up,” Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “But there’s more to be done. The next step should be moving marijuana out of Schedule I to a more appropriate category, which the administration can do without any further congressional action.”

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.



 

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