The Huffington Post: White House Takes Huge Step Forward In Fight Over Marijuana Research

Summary: The Huffington Post reports that today, the White House has officially removed the obstructive Public Health Service review process for marijuana research, a barrier that has stood in the way of whole plant medical marijuana drug development research for 16 years. MAPS and others have been working to end this review process since 1999. “Eliminating the Public Health Service review should help facilitate additional research to advance our understanding of both the adverse effects and potential therapeutic uses for marijuana or its components,” explains Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) spokesman Mario Moreno Zepeda.

Originally appearing here.

WASHINGTON — The White House took a major step forward on Monday to support research into the medical properties of marijuana, lifting a much-maligned bureaucratic requirement that had long stifled scientific research.

By eliminating the Public Health Service review requirement, the Department of Health and Human Serviceswill help facilitate research into the drug.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers had called for the requirement to be lifted.

The requirement had long outgrown today’s marijuana politics. Even opponents of legalization have called for it to be lifted. As HuffPost’s MattFerner reported earlier:

It’s a process that no other substance classified by the government as Schedule I is subject to and one that researchers and lawmakers alike have criticized.

Under the Controlled Substances Act,the U.S. has five categories for drugs and drug ingredients. Schedule I is reserved for what the DEA considers to have the highest potential for abuseand no medical value. Marijuana has been classified as Schedule I for decades, alongside other substances like heroin and LSD.