September 3, 2019 9:43AM

New Roads for Marijuana Research

By Jeffrey Miron and Erin Partin

News that the DEA is moving forward to improve access to marijuana for research purposes should be cause for celebration. But, if history is any guide, marijuana advocates should remain cautious. It has been three years since the process of increasing the number of entities registered under the Controlled Substances Act to “facilitate research involving marijuana and its chemical constituents” began. Prior to the 2016 announcement, the DEA had a monopoly on growing marijuana for research purposes. That no progress has been made in the past three years is outrageous, yet not unexpected from the prohibitionist bureaucracy of the DEA.

Israel, the Netherlands, and Canada are leading the way in marijuana research. Studies show that marijuana is an effective treatment for pain, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, glaucoma, and other medical conditions. By refusing to expand researcher access to marijuana, the DEA is taking an indefensible stand against medical progress.

This might be a turning point in the fight for marijuana research, or it may be just another empty promise. One way or another, time will tell.