US research into the benefits of marijuana stymied by one man

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US Attorney Jeff Sessions continues to hamper efforts to explore medical marijuana

According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), research into the benefits of medical marijuana is being suppressed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ). While multiple requests by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) over the past two years to expand marijuana research farms have been submitted, they have all been rejected by the DOJ. At the top of the DOJ is one man who is calling all the shots – Jeffrey Sessions.

The WSJ points out, “The future of the initiative ultimately rests with the DEA’s parent agency, the Justice Department, and officials under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime critic of marijuana use, aren’t eager to advance the applications, these people said. Mr. Sessions has stated publicly he is open to research on the drug but has offered for no timeline for processing the applications.

“The applicants include a variety of entrepreneurs, as well as a university professor and a former Navy SEAL who wants to study how marijuana might help veterans suffering from chronic pain and post-traumatic stress.

“Republican and Democratic lawmakers have voiced frustration at the delays, saying Mr. Sessions has repeatedly avoided questions about the status of the applications. The inaction, they say, is stalling much-needed research into the potential health benefits of marijuana as society takes a more tolerant view of its use.”

The only marijuana crops available are grown at a cultivation farm at the University of Mississippi. Scientists and researchers have routinely complained that it is difficult to receive samples and the quality is so poor that accurate research is not possible. Since Sessions controls the DOJ, and the DOJ controls the supply, Sessions is the lone individual that is preventing the US from being the world leader in medical marijuana research.