DEA sends medical marijuana back for more research

The government’s decision Thursday to allow more growers to produce marijuana for medical experimentation could pave the way for the end of the drug’s prohibition — eventually.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration, responding to a petition to reclassify the drug, reaffirmed the long-held position that it has no medical value Thursday. That frustrated advocates who’d hoped the government might end the regulation of — or, at least, loosen the regulations around — cannabis.

The election of a president for whom the legalization of marijuana is a priority could still overturn its regulatory status. For now, though, by allowing more organizations to apply to grow federally authorized marijuana — the University of Mississippi has been the only approved grower of marijuana for research purposes — the agencies widened the doors for more research that might convince the FDA of the drug’s medical value.

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