Washington state is moving ahead with its plans to allow scientific research of marijuana, sidestepping federal rules that critics say have hampered study of the drug for decades.
The state has a new marijuana research license that will allow laboratories to grow marijuana for scientific study. State officials expect to start accepting applications for the new license by January.
Supporters hope the state licensing helps provide new evidence of marijuana’s effectiveness as a medical treatment, potentially paving the way for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to ease restrictions on the drug’s possession and use.
“The importance of it really hit home when the DEA decided not to reschedule medical marijuana (last week) because, they said, ‘we just don’t have enough research,’ ” said state Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, who sponsored a bill this year to move Washington’s marijuana research license system forward. [Read more at The News Tribune]