Medical Marijuana Research Update: May 2004

MAPS has sent a letter to NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow, and all members of NIDA’s National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse (NACDA), asking them to expedite the NIDA/HHS review of Chemic’s vaporizer research protocol. Chemic initially submitted the protocol to NIDA on June 24, 2003, as part of a request to purchase 10 grams of NIDA’s marijuana needed for the study. MAPS’ letter explains that there has so far been an eleven month delay in MAPS’ research agenda, while MAPS waits to see if NIDA/HHS considers the protocol to be “scientifically meritorious” and therefore worthy of the privilege of purchasing NIDA’s low-potency marijuana. The letter protests that this is an unreasonable delay of MAPS’ efforts to conduct research to evaluate marijuana’s potential use as an FDA-approved prescription medicine. The letter informs Dr. Volkow and the members of the NACDA that NIDA/HHS is doing its best to provide clear and persuasive evidence that NIDA’s monopoly on the supply of marijuana for research is a fundamental obstruction that must end, preferably with DEA licensing of the UMass Amherst production facility.