The Obama administration sure knows how to throw a lame duck party! While it’s certainly not a big step towards the legalization of marijuana, the administration has eased some federal restrictions on medical cannabis research that will streamline the approval process and get rid of some bureaucratic red tape. This will make it easier for researchers to discover the possible medical benefits of marijuana and possibly pave the way towards legalization.
Specifically, the administration is doing away with the current review by the Public Health Service, which is the main obstacle standing in the way of cannabis research. The PHS had several criteria that the cannabis being studies had to meet, and that made it harder to study the plant. But the way through the PHS has been seen — even by those who don’t want to see marijuana legalized — as “a labyrinth of a regulatory system” that impedes researchers instead of helping them.
As more and more states support medical marijuana and decriminalize it for recreational use, the Obama administration is making it clear that now that they don’t have to win any more elections, it’s cool to answer this call for the sake of the country and those who can really be helped by medical marijuana. It’s hardly a go-ahead to toke up with abandon, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
[h/t Think Progress]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org