Jul 232015
 July 23, 2015
Congressional Briefing Today Highlights Federal Barriers To Medical Marijuana Research

Today, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is hosting a Congressional Briefing with Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) on federal barriers faced by researchers working to understand the medical uses of marijuana.  The briefing will provide expert insights on how federal policy has undermined medical marijuana research and the state of contemporary medical marijuana research from Dr. Sue Sisley and Dr. David Casarett. Brooking Institute Fellow John Hudak will discuss the practical impact of reform proposals. “ASA put together this briefing so Congress could hear, directly from top researchers, how to make increased medical marijuana research a reality,” said Steph Sherer ASA

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Jul 212015
 July 21, 2015
Congressional Briefing To Highlight Need To Fix Research System For Marijuana

On Thursday, July 23rd Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is hosting a Congressional Briefing with Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) on federal barriers faced by researchers working to understand the medical uses of marijuana.   The briefing will provide expert testimony on how federal policy has undermined medical marijuana research, the state of  contemporary medical marijuana research and the impact of reform proposals. Dr. Sue Sisley will present testimony on how federal barriers have directly blocked her research on using marijuana to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder including the adverse impacts of the Drug Enforcement Agency licensing only one entity (National Institute

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Jul 182015
 July 18, 2015
Senators Press Feds For Answers Regarding Medical Marijuana Research

By Danielle Keane, NORML Political Director Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, along with seven other Senators, has directed a letter to the Obama administration demanding regulators answer questions specific to the facilitation of research into the medical benefits of marijuana. Senators acknowledged the need for unbiased research. They wrote, ”While the federal government has emphasized research on the potential harms associated with the use of marijuana, there is still very limited research on the potential health benefits of marijuana — despite the fact that millions of Americans are now eligible by state law to use the drug for medical purposes.” The Senators applauded a recent decision by the Department of Health and

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Jul 132015
 July 13, 2015
House Republicans Block Changes That Would Allow More Federal Marijuana Studies

Less than a week ago a bipartisan amendment was introduced in Congress that would have made it easier to conduct marijuana research. Right now marijuana research is very difficult because marijuana is a Schedule I substance according to the federal government. The bipartisan amendment would have reclassified marijuana into its own category, therefore helping remove some of the barriers to research. The amendment was even co-sponsored by long time marijuana opponent Andy Harris, which many thought would give it a much better chance of passing. But that hope was short lived, as Republicans in the House of Representatives killed the legislation. Per The

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Jul 082015
 July 8, 2015
Members of Congress Want To Remove Barriers To Marijuana Research

I received the following message from Congressman Sam Farr: Today, Democratic Congressmen Sam Farr (CA-20, and Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), and Republican Congressmen H. Morgan Griffith (VA-09), and Andy Harris, M.D., (MD-01), introduced the “Credible Research on Medical Efficacy of Marijuana Amendment” to the 21st Century Cures Act. The 21st Century Cures Act, or H.R. 6, is currently scheduled to be considered on the House floor this week. The amendment focuses on removing barriers that inhibit research on marijuana. This amendment encourages the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to work with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to initiate and collaborate on

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Jun 292015
 June 29, 2015
NYU Researchers Examine Whether Reasons For Smoking Marijuana Are Associated With Use Of Other Drugs

I received the following press release from New York University and figured I’d post it for discussion: Marijuana is the most prevalent drug in the U.S. Approximately 70% of the 2.8 million individuals who initiated use of illicit drugs in 2013 reported that marijuana was their first drug. Despite extensive research examining potential links between marijuana use and other drug use, the literature is currently lacking data regarding which illicit marijuana users are most likely to engage in use of other illicit drugs. A new study, published in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse by researchers affiliated with

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Jun 282015
 June 28, 2015
That One Time When Kevin Sabet Got OWNED By A Senator During A Hearing

This last week a Congressional drug caucus was held where testimony was provided by Kevin Sabet. As usual, Kevin was ripe with reefer madness. Usually Kevin speaks to crowds that are completely sympathetic to his views, and rarely question anything he says because he has them so snowballed (after all, they are paying thousands of dollars to have him tell them half truths about marijuana policy and science!). But this speaking engagement was different. United States Senator Cory Booker was in attendance, and he didn’t take kindly to Kevin Sabet’s reefer madness tactics. If you are like me, I’m sure

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Jun 272015
 June 27, 2015
NIDA Acknowledges Drawbacks To Monopoly On Marijuana Supply

By Danielle Keane, NORML Political Director Members of the US Senate at a hearing yesterday expressed skepticism in regard to federal policies limiting the ability of investigators to engage in clinical studies of marijuana’s health benefits. Senators heard from representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), University of Mississippi Medical Center, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and Project SAM on a variety of issues The hearing’s most noteworthy moment came when Nora Volkow, director of NIDA, acknowledged that the monopoly on marijuana cultivation for research purposes ought to be amended.

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Jun 252015
 June 25, 2015
Drug Caucus Holds Hearing On Barriers To Cannabidiol Research

Yesterday, the Senate International Narcotics Control Caucus held a hearing on facilitating cannabidiol (CBD) research. CBD is found in cannabis and has shown great potential to treat intractable epilepsy and numerous other therapeutic benefits. According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) CBD is considered a schedule I substance, despite the growing body of evidence indicating therapeutic benefits to patients suffering from dravet syndrome and other severe forms of epilepsy.  The hearing also focused on regulatory oversight and reforming the process for researchers to obtain cannabis. “During today’s hearing we heard Nora Volkow, the head of National Institute on Drug Abuse

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Jun 242015
 June 24, 2015
U.S. Senators Press Feds To Remove Political Barriers To Medical Marijuana Research

At a hearing Wednesday, Sens. Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand pressed federal officials to eliminate political barriers that are preventing research on the potential medical benefits of marijuana. The hearing, “Cannabidiol: Barriers to Research and Potential Medical Benefits,” was held by the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control. Officials from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) echoed the senators’ concerns and expressed support for removing barriers to research that have been created by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). NIDA has a DEA-mandated monopoly on the supply of marijuana available for research purposes,

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