Prof gets boost in bid to grow marijuana

February 12, 2007

Kevin Freking, Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Concluding that there is an inadequate supply of marijuana for medical research, an administrative law judge has recommended to the Drug Enforcement Administration that it grant a Massachusetts professor‘s application to grow the drug in bulk.

The judge‘s ruling is nonbinding. But officials at the American Civil Liberties Union hope that the recommendation to grant the application of Professor Lyle Craker will eventually lead to more research into the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Federal officials said that Craker‘s university, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is free to compete for the next contract to produce research-grade marijuana for the United States. But there was no basis to add another producer.

The company that wants to fund Craker‘s facility for growing marijuana countered that researchers are not getting the quantity or the quality of marijuana needed to conduct research that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration .

The administrative law judge, Mary Ellen Bittner, concluded Monday that granting Craker‘s application would be in the public interest. Among the reasons she cited were inadequate competition and an inadequate supply of marijuana for research purposes.

"I hope that Administrator Tandy abides by the decision and grants me the opportunity to do my job unimpeded by drug war politics," Craker said in a statement distributed by the ACLU.

 

By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press Writer Mon Feb 12, 10:18 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Concluding that there is an inadequate supply of marijuana for medical research, an administrative law judge has recommended to the Drug Enforcement Administration that it grant a Massachusetts professor‘s application to grow the drug in bulk.

The judge‘s ruling is nonbinding. But officials at the American Civil Liberties Union hope that the recommendation to grant the application of Professor Lyle Craker will eventually lead to more research into the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Federal officials said that Craker‘s university, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is free to compete for the next contract to produce research-grade marijuana for the United States. But there was no basis to add another producer.

The company that wants to fund Craker‘s facility for growing marijuana countered that researchers are not getting the quantity or the quality of marijuana needed to conduct research that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration .

The administrative law judge, Mary Ellen Bittner, concluded Monday that granting Craker‘s application would be in the public interest. Among the reasons she cited were inadequate competition and an inadequate supply of marijuana for research purposes.

"I hope that Administrator Tandy abides by the decision and grants me the opportunity to do my job unimpeded by drug war politics," Craker said in a statement distributed by the ACLU.



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