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Lill'lif'lr?. MISSISSIPPI CDMMUNIEHTIGNS

 


 


 


 

NEWS IN FOCUS

 


 


 


 


 


 


 

SPIBE Star wars loom as NASA Ilililllllillitl?i' Conservation Plilllit' Chilean hopes for a

 

begins its review of current project aims to rescue new science ministry are

 

missions sins Pompeii from the ruins will . dashed M12

 


 

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DNA offers surprises on

 

human ancestry p.114

 


 


 


 

Marijuana for use in US research is grown at only one federally approved facility, at the University of Mississippi in Dslord.

 


 

Federal red tape ties up

 

marijuana research

 


 

Despite drug ?3 legalization in two US states, biomedical science faces continued restrictions.

 


 

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idden in a locked ro om on New

 

HYork University?s campus in lower

 

Manhattan, a halfwtonne steel safe

 

guards hundreds of vials of a drug extracted

 

from marijuana. To the US government, the

 

drug u? Epidioleic u? is one of the world?s most

 

dangerous substances, ripe for abuse. But to

 

Drrin Devinsky, a neurologist at the univerd

 

sity, it is a potential treatment for tremors in

 

children with severe epilepsy.

 

Although Epidioleir, made by GW

 


 

Pharmaceuticals in Salisbury, UK, is not

 

psychoactive, it to ok Devinsi-cy sis frustrating

 

months to secure local and national approval

 

for a clinical trial Lhatbegan in January. ?if some

 

teenagers broke in, they?d get nothing out ofiti"

 

he says. The physical and regulatory barriers

 

that nevertheless surround Epidioleit point to

 

the stigma that continues to stymie research on

 

marijuana and its derivatives, even in US states

 

that have moved to legalize its sale and use, such

 

as Colorado and Washington {see ?Slow burn?).

 


 

Colorado?s legal marijuana sales began in lan-

 

uary and are booming. The state?s legislators are

 


 

weighing a proposal to provide US$33" million to

 

study the drug?s therapeutic potential. But even

 

if the measure is enacted, Colorado research -

 


 

we might not be permitted to use locally groan

 

plants for their studies, and would need to

 


 

clear several levels of government approval

 

before running any clinical trials. The US Drug

 

Enforcement Agency {DEA} still classi?es mari?

 

juana alongside heroin and LED as a substance

 

with ?no currently accepted medical use and a

 

high potential for abuse?.

 


 

?It?s a terrible. terrible parades.? says

 

Devinsky. ?The federal government is I"

 


 

2? MARCH E?lll | hi0]. E?'i" | N?TL?RE I all)?

 


 

oi:- Edit-l Macmillan Publishers Limited. r??tll rights reserved EIETLE'ii' 1illiil'il RAUENEWM?ITSPL

 


 

?IE INFUCUS |

 


 

SLOW BURN

 


 

to pursue studies only through federally

 

appmved channels, although it acknowledged

 

that the NIDA supply may not be representa?

 

tive of many marijuana strains available to peo?

 

ple in the state. ?As a university that receives

 

federal ?nancial aid and federal research

 

funding, we have to abide by federal laws.? says

 

Ken McConnellogue, a university spokesman.

 

Cine field that does seem likely to flourish

 

in Colorado and Washington is public?health

 

research. foicials in both states are preparing

 

surveys and studies to track long?term rates of

 

marijuana use as accessibility and social accept-

 

ance of the drug increase, and as largesscale data

 

I Marque-rallied become available for the ?rst time. ?We have

 

for adult use _ _ . more people using marijuana, and people are

 

med???fma m%w?wmlh??nd??i?:amum rrt?re Willing to tellyclll that they?re: usmg It:I says

 

Laura Borgelt, a clmrcal pharmacist at the Um-

 

versity of Colorado in Burma, who is interested

 

?- severely limiting the research thatwe can do." in research marijuana, explains Mahmoud in studying the effects of maternal marijuana

 

Currently, the US National Institute on ElSohly, who directs the NIDA Marijuana use during pregnancy on child development.

 

Drug abuse {NIBA} runs the nation?s only Project at the University of Mississippi. Other topics of interest include possible

 

federally sanctioned marijuana farm. pro- Still, he anticipates imminent research changes associated with marijuana in the use of

 

ducin g a research supply through a contract demand for more plant varieties, especially alcohol and other drugs. trends in car accidents

 

with the University of Mississippi in Cleord, some containing higher concentrations of and risky behaviour, and school performance.

 

To obtain the strain, researchers ? even those CED. Emerging data suggest that the chemi- Last year, NIDA awarded more than $1 million

 

with private or local funding ?- must gain cal exhibits anticonvulsant, anti?in?ammatory in supplemental funding to five groups to study

 

approval from the Department of Health and pain?relieving effects, while lacking ? or some of these questions in the context of the

 

and Human Services {HHS} or the National perhaps even countering ? the psychoactive natural epidemiological experiments under

 

Institutes of Health, as well as the Food and effects of THCH. a few highly publicized wayinColorado and Washington.

 

Drug administration (Fox). The DEA and anecdotes involving the use of marijuana Few data exist to predict the effects of legal-

 


 

Even in states where

 

marijuana is legal for

 

adults tr:- use withuut

 

restrictions, federal

 

rules hamper research

 

on me drug.

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

local drug-enforcement officials must also products for treating ising the drug?s use and sale. Studies of the

 

approve research facilities for secure storage ?Thefedeml severe epilepsy in ?non-enforcement? cannabis system in the

 

and handling of marijuana. The approval goverrmrenfis children have also Netherlands by Robert MacCoun, a social

 

process can last for years. severely limiting stoked intense public psychologist at the University of California,

 


 

Susanne Sisley, a clinical psychiatrist at the the mgemh interest in high?CED Berkeley, suggest that marijuana consumption

 

University of Arizona College of Medicine in {1111th can (In, ? marijuana. its reports rose in the Ilii?ils, as marijuana shops became

 

Phoenix, knows this well. In Elli 1, she secured surface of families widespread?i. Crverall, however, rates of mari-

 


 

approval from the FDA to conduct a trial of moving to Colorado to gain access to CED for juana use in the Netherlands are comparable

 

marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress dis- their children, Devinsky and other researchers to those in other European countries.

 


 

order in US military veterans. But it was not seean urgent need to accelerate scienti?cinves- Cultural differences make it dif?cult to

 

until two weeks ago ? nearly three years later tigations of the substance. extrapolate those findings to the United States,

 

? that she received clearance from the HHS. ElSohly has already prepared one variety of warns MacCoun. His group has begun to study

 

Although Sisley already has plenty of vnlun? marijuana that contains equal amounts of CED patterns of drug use in Washmgton, and he is

 

tee rs for her T'li ?pe rson trial, her laboratory and THC, and is hoping to grow a high? CED, looking forward to seeing data from Colorado

 

will have to pass inspections by drug of?cials low-THC variety later this year. ?With all the researchersSTm watching quite eagerly to see

 

before it can receive limited quantities of the publicity going on right now, I?m sure some- what we can learn.? I

 


 

only federally approved marijuana strain. body is going to request that.? he says. . C 1 s.

 

That variety contains relatively high levels But the diversity of recreational marijuana 1' ?i'hpgl?gr??j?mjjégg? $31533; D33??? Egg},

 

of tetrahydroc annabinol {THC}, marijuana?s strains ?ooding the Colorado marketplace ? {gg?gy ' 1 ' '

 


 

primary active ingredient, and low levels of such as?lemon skunk: ?golden goat? and ?bubba 2- Hill. Finis Williams, C. M. Whalley, 3- J. ii: Stepheria

 


 

- - ? _ r _ - - i3.J. Fharmsccl Thar. 133, iii?El? {2012}.

 

cannabidrol [CB El}, another potentially thera kush will not help to fill the research void. 3' Niesinlr, F. J! 3: van Lear. M. W. Front. Psychiatry 4+

 


 

peutic component. Such controlled cultiva? In a memo earlier this month, the University 13g (3mg),

 

tion helps to maintain chemical consistency of Colorado reminded its faculty members 4. Mac?oun, R.J.Addictisn 106, 1399?1910 {2011}.

 


 

o Till? llEl'lS Millif NEWS HAIUHE Pillltll-?iST

 


 

Gravitational I Criii cs sayr grizzly-bear hunting A new dwarf

 

M ORE waves cause quotas not based on science guaturl. planet; the Now

 

a rethink ?ll?l?l in physics; and

 

ONLINE across I Human olfaction can distinguish at the true effects of

 

physics least 1 trillion scents [aniline-Mlle weight-reduction

 

[H.IIIIIMHI I Algorithm reconstructs facial surgery Illum?ll

 

Illlfll structure from DNA ??llfllsllltlln?ll Illurllllliutl

 


 


 


 

fifth l NATURE l VOL 5i]? l 2? MARCH Hillel

 

it} 21314 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

 


 

SUUREE: menu UAHA F'lIiLIlTIr FHGJECT

 







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