Orignally appeared at: http://www.marinij.com/opinion/ci_16536653 Proposition 19’s failure at the polls demonstrates that although Californians have accepted the medicinal use of marijuana, they are not ready to accept recreational use. This makes it that much more important to facilitate research into the benefits and harms of marijuana in order to properly assess the utility of cannabis. At present, researchers have to contend with a monopoly over the marijuana supply held by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, whose mission is to study the harmful effects of illicit drugs. This disqualifies them as objective judges as to who to provide marijuana to for FDA approved studies. To clarify the efficacy of our existing medical marijuana law, Californians need to strengthen their understanding of how to effectively utilize marijuana medicinally. We can facilitate research through breaking NIDA’s monopoly over the marijuana supply for FDA studies by putting pressure on the Drug Enforcement Agency to issue a license to cultivate marijuana to Dr. Lyle Craker at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. It’s time we ask Acting DEA Administrator Michelle Leonhart why she chose to uphold federal obstruction that could bring this issue from the political to the scientific sphere. Stephen Morseman A letter to the Marin Independent Journal by Stephen Morseman on the importance of marijuana research and an end to the monopoly on marijuana cultvation by the National Institue of Drug Abuse.