Pubdate: Thu, 28 Aug 2014
Source: Virgin Islands Daily News, The (VI)
Copyright: 2014 Virgin Islands Daily News
Author: Lauren Raab, Los Angeles Times
Page: 10


The U.S. government has upped the quantity of marijuana it's growing 
this year, to more than 1,400 pounds from the originally planned 46.

The federal government classifies marijuana as a substance that has 
no medical use and is more dangerous than cocaine. But it's willing 
to let researchers have access - under a few conditions.

One condition is that each project needs approval from the Drug 
Enforcement Administration. Another is that researchers get the 
substance from a particular source: the federal government.

The marijuana is grown at the University of Mississippi, which has 
the federal contract to do so for research purposes, DEA spokesman 
Rusty Payne said, and the quotas exist "so we don't have too much of 
something that could get diverted" to non-sanctioned purposes.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, which "oversees the 
cultivation, production and distribution of research-grade marijuana 
on behalf of the United States government," said it would need 30 
times more marijuana this year than in the last several years, the 
DEA said. But for a while, quotas were even higher: nearly 10,000 
pounds a year in 2005 through 2009.

The adjustment to this year's quota took effect Tuesday.

Also this week, research suggested that the availability of medical 
marijuana could help cut down on fatal overdoses of prescription painkillers.

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia allow medical 
marijuana. Two of those, Colorado and Washington, also allow 
recreational use of the drug.
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