(DENVER, CO) — Government leaders in Colorado are asking federal officials to allow colleges in their state to grow marijuana for research purposes.
The Attorney General’s office of Colorado sent a letter detailing the reasons of their request to several federal agencies. Additionally, the letter requests expanded authority for state colleges and universities to work along side the National Institute on Drug Abuse to carry out the research.
Hearing anybody over the age of 21 in Colorado saying they are having trouble accessing marijuana is very strange. However, that has not been the case for many university researchers who said their hands are presently tied.
“Even though we say that things are legal in Colorado for state purposes, which is true, there is still a lot of bureaucratic red tape that has to be cut through in order for this type of research to be done,” stated state representative Dan Pabon (District 4).
Pabon noted that the red tape has a tendency to scare away universities who heavily rely on federal funding for their research efforts. Currently the only federally approved marijuana grow for research is at the University of Mississippi, directed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
“They are the ones that decide what research is and isn’t done and we need to break that stranglehold,” said Teri Robnett of Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council.
The Advisory Council recently made news after approving more than $8 million in state funding for marijuana research. Some research experts said they don’t expect federal agencies to start making changes immediately, but hope the letter started a proper dialogue for the future.
“It’s like any other aspect of this field,” Pabon said. “Whether it’s banking, now scientific research, we need some solutions in place as soon as we can have them and this is a step in the right direction for getting that.”