On March 7, 2011, Professor Lyle Craker, Director of the Medicinal Plant Program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and his lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union and Washington, D.C., law firm Jenner & Block submitted their final brief in their marathon lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Right now, a lab at the University of Mississippi is the only facility in the U.S. with a license to grow marijuana for research. Any scientist who proposes a study of marijuana must purchase it from this lab, whether they’re interested in its risks or in its medical uses. Unfortunately, the National Institute on Drug Abuse—which funds the lab and therefore decides which studies get marijuana and which do not—only supports research into the potential harms of marijuana. That makes it practically impossible to do the research with the greatest potential for helping actual patients.
The only way to change the situation is to end NIDA’s monopoly, which is exactly what MAPS and Craker have been trying to do for nearly ten years. We’re expecting the FDA to allow us to proceed with our proposed study of the safety and effectiveness of smoked and/or vaporized marijuana for PTSD in war veterans, and NIDA (and its parent agency the Public Health Service) are the only ones standing in its way.
Read the MAPS press release announcing the latest developments in the case.