"It didn't resemble cannabis. It didn't smell like cannabis."
So says Sue Sisley, who is pissed, and with good reason. She didn't get ripped off by an illegal dealer or a legal dispensary. No, she got screwed by the federal government, which seems incapable of growing good-quality marijuana. Sisley is an Arizona-based primary-care doctor who was awarded a grant to study the use of pot to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in military veterans. It took Sisley and her colleagues two years to get the shipment from the "12-acre farm at the University of Mississippi, run by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)…[which] since 1968…has been the only facility licensed by the DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] to produce the plant for clinical research."
Working with Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Sisley and her colleagues tested the pot and found that it was contaminated with mold and not at the right potency for their research. Your tax dollars at work, growing schwag that doesn't even rise to the level of reggie.
From a PBS account of the story:
Rick Doblin, MAPS' director, says this recent episode "shows that NIDA is completely inadequate as a source of marijuana for drug development research."
"They're in no way capable of assuming the rights and responsibilities for handling a drug that we're hoping to be approved by the FDA as prescription medicine," he says.
Via Twitter feed of Mike Hewlett.
Watch "Transplant Denied: How Medical Marijuana Policy Kills Patients," a powerful Reason TV video from 2012. Not for the faint of heart.