United States Supreme Court opinions have referred to colleges as the ‘marketplace of ideas.’ I have always loved that concept. The research that is conducted on campuses across the country every day is contributing to knowledge in ways that will help the world over and over. Whereas most private research is done for the purpose of profit, research that is conducted on college campuses is done for the purpose of trying to figure things out to help make the world a better place. That happens with private research too of course, but not as often as university-based research.
Marijuana should be studied on college campuses, and does at the University of Mississippi. The federal government has had a marijuana research program at the University of Mississippi for decades. The sad irony of course being that the federal government prohibits marijuana, and claims that there is no medical value in marijuana. Never mind the fact that the federal government has numerous marijuana-based patents.
Federal prohibition is the reason why more universities don’t research marijuana. Specifically, it is what’s keeping the University of Florida from pursuing a research program. Per Gainesville.Com:
The University of Florida is a massive research institution, but it has steered clear of work involving marijuana over legal concerns that it could cause the school’s federal funding to go up in smoke.
As the Florida Legislature moved toward the eventual approval of the Charlotte’s Web strain low medical marijuana during the spring, UF asked a Washington, D.C., lawyer versed in U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Agency regulations for an opinion on whether the university could grow marijuana for research on how to cultivate the plant or its effectiveness as a medication.
The answer was no.
So, if a marijuana research program would ‘jeopardize federal money for research or student financial aid’ at the University of Florida, then why does the University of Mississippi have a program? Last time I checked, they receive federal money for research for all kinds of things, including marijuana. Also, last time I checked student aid at the University of Mississippi wasn’t in jeopardy. It’s time to give up this BS and let universities do what they do best – contribute to knowledge. It’s time to end the federal government’s virtual monopoly on marijuana research.