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Is the U.S. Government Blocking Research on Pot's Positives?

According to a recent article in the Kansas City Star, some scientists are accusing the U.S. government of only funding marijuana research that shows the ill effects of the drug.

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Main short-term somatic (bodily) effects of cannabis.Image credit: Mikael Häggström, Wikimedia CommonsAmerica’s only legal marijuana supply is grown in a fenced 12-acre garden on the University of Mississippi’s campus in Oxford, and the government keeps a close watch on it, sending it to approved research projects across the country, few of which focus on the benefits of pot.

Projects focused on pot’s benefits that have been approved have had to wait a lot longer than those green-lighted to study the negatives. However, there is hope that that inequality will change. For example, a University of Arizona study that aims to determine whether or not marijuana will help soldiers deal with post-traumatic stress disorder was recently given the go ahead by the federal government.

However, the lead researcher of the project told the Star that, even after it was OKed by the Food and Drug Administration, the Health and Human Services Department had to wait over three more years to green-light the project.

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“Nobody could explain it–it’s indefensible,” Suzanne Sisley, clinical assistant professor of internal medicine and psychiatry at the university’s medical school said to the Star. “The only thing we can assume is that it is politics trumping science.”

She added that FDA approval should be all that’s needed for marijuana-related studies to go ahead, rather than having to get a second OK from the government.

Other critics of the overly slow process agreed more needs to be done to keep politics out of science when it comes to pot.

See more in the original article.

- With files from the Kansas City Star