Although the federal government pulls no punches when it comes to their unbridled willingness to bring the hammer down on the illegal drug culture, this has not stopped Uncle Sam from producing weed, speed and other hardcore narcotics to be distributed for research purposes.
By now, people are privy to the federal government’s pot cultivation operation at the University of Mississippi, but most are unaware of the true magnitude of the Drug Supply Program operated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It is here where the government attempts to supply researchers with marijuana, mainly to explore its negative effects, in addition to drugs, like cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and ecstasy, for scientific minds interested in exploring some of the most sought after feel-good substances in the world.
Perhaps more interesting than the government engaging in the manufacture of blow and smack is the fact that these substances are distributed free of charge.
In order for researchers to get their hands on these drugs, however, they must first receive approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration. Before this can be achieved, each member of the research team must submit to an extensive background check, while the study must also be approved by the Department of Health and a number of other agencies, which could take years – if they are lucky.
If a study proposal manages to win the fed’s approval after this grueling process, researchers can then submit a request for study drugs. Yet, this is not a simple task, either. Here is the Drug Request Checklist, according to the October 2014 edition of the Drug Supply Program Catalog.
1. A cover letter including the name and quantities of compounds or drugs being requested, grant number, and name, phone number and e-mail address of your program officers (for an NIH/NIDA grantee), your shipping address, e-mail address, phone and fax numbers.
2. A recommendation letter from your program officer in support of your request.
3. A research protocol, including justification for the requested quantity of compounds or drugs being requested.
4. A DEA Form 222 (for controlled substances).
5. A copy of your current DEA registration (for controlled substances).
6. An approved FDA letter and IND number (for a clinical study).
7. A copy of an NRC license for radioactive compounds.
8. A curriculum vitae of the principal investigator, if applicable.
9. A statement of commitment that NIDA will be acknowledged in publications.
Interestingly, all requests for cannabis must be accompanied by a Marijuana Cigarette Request Package, which essentially includes much of the above information, as well as the researcher’s desired weed strength. This is the primary reason Dr. Sue Sisley’s recently approved PTSD study continues to experience delays – they are still waiting for the government to harvest and package the pot grown to their specifications.
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