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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release [print friendly page]
November 28, 2001

For additional information, contact:
Michael L. Chapman, Chief, Public Affairs
(202) 307-7977


photo - Cannabis plant
Cannabis plant

photo - Administrator Hutchinson
" This research is important..."
- Asa Hutchinson
DEA Administrator

photo - Marijuana cigarettes
Marijuana cigarettes

Today the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) approved the registration of two researchers, which will allow studies with smoked marijuana in human subjects. The two researchers from the University of California San Diego are the first researchers affiliated with the California Marijuana Research Program to be approved by the DEA. This program was established by the State of California to undertake rigorous scientific studies to assess the safety and efficacy of cannabis compounds as an alternative for treating certain debilitating medical conditions. Both studies will utilize cannabis cigarettes provided by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).

The DEA registration approval completes the process for allowing research with Schedule I controlled substances to proceed. Because Schedule I controlled substances have the highest potential for abuse, a rigorous review process must be followed. The pre-registrant process includes approval of the research protocol by the Food and Drug Administration, a verification of state licensure, and an investigation of security and record-keeping requirements by DEA field investigators. The two applicants have successfully met all pre-registration criteria.

DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson stated: “This announcement is consistent with the DEA position that the question of whether marijuana has any legitimate medical purpose should be determined by sound science and medicine. Historically, the research has shown no medical benefit from smoking marijuana. This research is important in light of the divergence of federal law with a number of states which have passed some form of medical marijuana initiatives.”

The DEA emphasizes that determinations regarding the safety and potential medical use of substances should be made by authorized national health authorities and be based on rigorous scientific studies. The two approved research studies will enable researchers to obtain meaningful scientific data in controlled environments utilizing material of known composition.

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