university of mississippi

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U.S.: DEA Plans Decision On Rescheduling Marijuana By Mid-Year

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Drug Enforcement Administration plans to decide whether marijuana should be reclassified under federal law "in the first half of 2016," according to a letter from the DEA to senators.

The agency was responding to a 2015 letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and seven other Democratic senators urging the federal government to stop blocking research into the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

If marijuana is reclassified at all, it would have to be moved to a "less dangerous" category, because it is currently considered Schedule I under federal law, the category of drugs considered the most dangerous of all. Schedule I drugs, by definition, supposedly have no medical value and a high potential for abuse. The insanity of including cannabis -- which, of course, can be used to treat hundreds of conditions -- should be obvious.

There are five categories (schedules) classifying illegal drugs. Marijuana has been considered Schedule I since Nixon's War On Drugs kicked off in 1971. That means the federal government officially considers marijuana to be just as dangerous as heroin -- and it means the government thinks pot is less dangerous than either cocaine or methamphetamine, both of which are considered Schedule II drugs.

U.S.: DEA Wants More Than 30x The Amount of Research Marijuana It Originally Requested

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Monday said it needs hundreds of pounds of marijuana for research this year, more than 30 times the amount of cannabis it originally ordered for 2014.

The DEA accordingly adjusted its annual production quota of marijuana for the U.S. government, which is grown on The University of Mississippi's campus at Oxford, reports Pete Kasperowicz at The Blaze.

Ole Miss pot is used exclusively by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to conduct research on marijuana, but don't expect any studies on the medicinal benefits of cannabis. The NIDA, by definition, refuses to fund any studies looking for medical uses, but instead will only authorize studies which look for the harms of marijuana.

Despite what The Blaze reported -- that the NIDA pot was for "medical marijuana research" -- the agency "does not fund research focused on the potential medical benefits of marijuana," an NIDA spokesperson told The New York Times in 2010. "As the National Institute on Drug Abuse, our focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use," NIDA spokeswoman told the Times.

Mississippi: Governor Signs Law To Allow Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil For Seizures

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant last week signed into law a bill allowing marijuana-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil for medical purposes.

"The bill I signed into law will help children who suffer from severe seizures disorders," Gov. Bryant told 16 WAPT News. "Throughout the legislative process, I insisted on the tightest controls and regulations for this measure, and I have been assured by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics that CBD oil (cannabidiol) is not an intoxicant," the tremulous governor said.

"The outcome is a bill that allows this substance to be used therapeutically, as is the case for other controlled prescription medication," he said, emphasizing that he remains opposed to any effort to legalize marijuana or its derivatives other than CBD oil only.

The bill was named for Harper Grace Durval, two turned 2 years old last Friday, usually the age when Dravet's syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy, starts resulting in an increased number of seizures. "She has them every day, but they are not grand mal seizures, and they are very short," said Ashley Durval, Harper's mother.

"Hopefully, this will lead the way to some groundbreaking insight into, not only children with epilepsy, but any other neurological disorder," said Sen. Josh Harkins (R-Flowood), who pushed the measure.

Mississippi: House Passes Bill Legalizing Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Mississippi House on Thursday passed a bill to make marijuana-derived CBD oil, made from a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, legal in Mississippi under "tightly controlled circumstances."

The House approved a conference report which ironed out the differences with the Mississippi Senate on House Bill 1231, reports WJTV. The Senate would still have to approve that agreement before the bill goes to the desk of Gov. Phil Bryant for his signature or veto.

CBD oil is believed to help children with seizures. Under the bill, it would be tested at the University of Mississippi and would only be available the Ole Miss Medical Center in Jackson.

According to sponsor Sen. Josh Harkins, even if the bill becomes law, it will need federal approval to move ahead. In the real world, that unfortunately means the bill will probably never help a single patient, since the federal government doesn't approve medical marijuana studies and officialy considers cannabis a Schedule I drug with no medical uses.

Cannabidiol, or CBD as it's more popularly known, is the new darling of lawmakers in conservative states (like Mississippi) who sense the rising tide of popular support for medical marijuana -- and would love to appear to be "doing something" -- but lack the political courage or will to advocate for an actual medical marijuana law.

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