The Obama administration is likely going to get rid of a large barrier to cannabis studies, officials stated on Wednesday, potentially leading to general scientific research on a drug that is currently being used to help various diseases in states throughout the U.S. regardless of limited evidence of its effectiveness. The new policy is likely going to rapidly rise the amount of cannabis that researchers are allowed to use. By doing this, the Obama administration is loosening the country’s position on marijuana a bit more. President Obama has stated that he believes the drug is no more than dangerous than alcohol is, and the Justice Department has not interfered on states that have decided to legalize the marijuana.

For a long time now, the University of Mississippi has been the only college allowed to cultivate cannabis for use in medical research. This barrier has had such an impact on the supply of federally approved cannabis for research that scientists claimed it would take years to get the drug and maybe even impossible in some cases. The Drug Enforcement Administration is going to allow more universities to grow the drug, according to three government officials. While twenty-five states have approved the medical use of cannabis for an increasing amount of conditions, “including Parkinson’s, Crohn’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis,” there is not much research supporting that this works. This new policy would help that issue.

“It will create a supply of research-grade marijuana that is diverse, but more importantly, it will be competitive, and you will have growers motivated to meet the demand of researchers,” John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, stated.

The new policy is going to be published as soon as Thursday in the federal register, the three officials stated, who have seen the policy but spoke anonymously because they were not allowed to speak about it.

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