Armed with a favorable court ruling, scientists and advocates of medical research on marijuana asked the Drug Enforcement Administration yesterday to allow them to grow their own, reports the Washington Post. They say pot supplied by the government is too hard to get and that its poor quality limits their research. Proponents said a DEA administrative law judge’s ruling that it would be in “the public interest” to have additional marijuana grown — and to break the government’s monopoly on growing it — had put them closer to their goal than ever before. “The DEA has an opportunity here to live up to its rhetoric, which has been that marijuana advocates should work on conducting research rather than filing lawsuits,” said Richard Doblin, president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.
The agency has opposed petitions that would end the government’s monopoly, saying that the current system works well and that allowing other growers could lead to more diversion to illicit use. All the marijuana produced for research is grown at the University of Mississippi and distributed through the National Institute on Drug Abuse. University of Massachusetts agronomy professor Lyle Craker won a ruling this year allowing him to grow marijuana in his greenhouses. “Working with medical marijuana seems so similar to the work we’re doing with other medicinal plants that I’ve never understood the DEA’s big problem with it,” said Craker, whose facilities have been checked by DEA agents to determine if they are sufficiently secure.