The Obama administration announced on Monday that it is discontinuing reviews by the Public Health Service (PHS), which have denied and delayed scientific research into medical marijuana.
Until this week, the PHS reviewed all medical marijuana studies not funded by the government.
Denials of research and a lack of medical marijuana evidence have bolstered the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) claims that marijuana "has no accepted medical use" and must remain illegal, noted TIME.
Mario Moreno Zepeda, spokesperson for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said in a statement:
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The Obama administration has actively supported scientific research on whether marijuana or its components can be safe and effective medicine.
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.
However, this doesn't mean that medical marijuana research is going to be an easy path.
The International Business Times reports that the DEA still must issue a license for clinical studies of medical marijuana, and the marijuana must come from one facility, which is located at the University of Mississippi and overseen by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
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Sources: TIME, International Business Times
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