One of my biggest pet peeves is when a federal politician says ‘more research is needed’ for marijuana before they support reform, yet they do nothing to help that research happen. It’s a duck and dodge tactic that might work for mainstream media, but anyone who has done their homework knows that such claims are just political rhetoric. In order for there to be more research, the federal government has to allow it. But in order for the feds to allow it, there needs to be support from federal politicians. But federal politicians won’t support it without more research. This circular logic gets frustrating.
Marijuana is singled out by the feds to thwart attempts at research, yet research for harsher drugs like heroin and cocaine are allowed. This was brought up at a recent Congressional hearing by Virginia Democrat Gerry Connelly. Per Alternet:
Rep. Connolly: “Right now, NIDA has a monopoly on the production of marijuana to be used for FDA-approved research and medical purposes and that’s been the case since 1974. Is that correct?”
Nora Volkow: “That is my understanding.”
Rep. Connolly: “Is there any other schedule I drug used for research purposes that’s available only from one government source?”
Nora Volkow: “I don’t think there is.”
Rep. Connolly: “So, again, (this is) unique to marijuana. You [NIDA] have exclusive control for research purposes unlike any substance.”
Nora Volkow: “Correct, in the United States.”
Rep. Connolly: “What is the rationale for that?”
Nora Volkow: [long pause]“I guess the rationale … is that you want to be able to have control over the material that you’re providing for research.”
Rep. Connolly: “Why wouldn’t that be true about cocaine?”
Nora Volkow: “Cocaine is a drug that is regulated differently. …The production of marijuana is based on plants.”
Rep. Connolly: “DEA has licensed privately funded manufacturers to produce methamphetamines, LSD, MDMA, heroin, cocaine, and a host of other controlled substances for research purposes. Is that not correct?”
Nora Volkow: “For research purposes, yes.”
Recently United States Representative Earl Blumenauer and over to dozen other elected officials sent a letter urging more marijuana research. This would require rescheduling marijuana, which is something Congress and/or the President can do at anytime. Contact your federal politicians to urge them to do what’s right, and quit letting politics get in the way of science and logic. I would urge you to contact the White House, but that is about as productive as slamming your head against a wall.