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DEA continues obstructing marijuana research, report says

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Zach McAuliffe is a University of Dayton alumni with degrees in journalism and English. He wants to present people with all the facts they need to make informed decisions on the world around them. He also enjoys Shakespeare and long walks on the beach with his puppy Lily.

A new report released by the Drug Policy Alliance and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, says the DEA has spent the last four decades thwarting marijuana research which carries the potential of reclassification for the drug.

“The DEA has argued for decades that there is insufficient evidence to support rescheduling marijuana,” reads the executive summary of the report.  “At the same time, it has… acted in a manner intended to systematically impede scientific research.”

Currently, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning the federal government does not recognize any acceptable uses for the drug, including medicinal uses.  The status of Schedule I also means the drugs in this category cannot receive federal funding for research, medicinal or otherwise.  Marijuana is joined on the Schedule I tier by peyote, LSD, and heroine.

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“This concerns me greatly as someone who has studied marijuana and given thousands of doses of the drug,” says Professor Carl Hart of the department of psychology and psychiatry from Columbia University.

Professor Hart continues saying, “The notion that the DEA has not thought about reconsidering scheduling of marijuana seems to be against scientific evidence and what we’re trying to do as a society that relies on imperial evidence to make decisions.”

The report also states the DEA has been forced by several court orders to release a decision on the reclassification of marijuana.  Two of these times, multiple lawsuits were brought forth against the DEA to act instead of simply sitting on their hands for years.

This report is released a few weeks after the House of Representatives approved of three amendments focused on restricting the DEA’s grasp on marijuana and hemp laws.  Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California was one sponsor of the amendments.

“Nobody should be afraid of the truth,” says Rohrabacher.  “Is the downside of marijuana a harmful side effect? Or is there a positive side that actually does help? That needs to be proven.”

A few studies have already shown marijuana has many potential medical uses, including slowing or stopping the spread and growth of cancerous cells, including leukemia.

Dr. Wai Liu from St. George’s University of London told the Huffington Post, “Cannabinoids have a complex action; it hits a number of important processes that cancers need to survive.”

The growing support for the legalization of marijuana has seen 22 states and the District of Columbia legalize medicinal use of marijuana, and Colorado and Washington have legalized the recreational use of the drug.

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