The federal government has been growing marijuana for medical purposes since 1968. It always surprises me just how many people don't know that. Marijuana opponents are always quick to make the statement 'it is still illegal federally' when it comes to legalizing medical marijuana at the state level, as if the legality at the federal level means the federal government is completely opposed to medical marijuana. The federal government is only opposed to medical marijuana for everyone else, but not the feds themselves.
If the federal government truly believed that marijuana has no medical value, which is what the current classification of marijuana involves, than they wouldn't be growing marijuana for distribution and research at the University of Mississippi. They wouldn't own patents related to marijuana's medical value. The truth is marijuana is medicine, and the federal government knows it. They want to do as much research as possible themselves, and stymie research attempts by others, in an attempt to corner the future medical marijuana industry. If people think that's just a conspiracy theory, I'd love to hear why, and what the true explanation is for why the federal government owns medical patents for a plant that they are researching, yet prohibit anyone from possessing and using without their permission.
The federal government recently renewed its contract with the University of Mississippi to continue to grow marijuana for medical purposes. Per Time:
Uncle Sam has awarded the University of Mississippi $68.8 million to grow marijuana and analyze it.
The contract awarded Monday by an arm of the National Institutes of Health will go to a marijuana research lab at Ole Miss, which has been the sole producer of federally legal marijuana since 1968. The project is ramping up to grow 30,000 plants, according to the Los Angeles Times.
In its solicitation, the NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse mandated a "secure and video monitored outdoor facility of approximately 12 acres" that could handle the "cultivation, growing, harvesting, analyzing, and storing of research grade cannabis," according to a listing posted on a federal government website. "The indoor facility must be at least 1000 square feet, having controls for light intensity, photo cycles, temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide concentration," it added.
It's beyond time that the United States government gave up this sham. The sham of declaring that marijuana has no medical value and classifying it as a Schedule I substance, while at the same time growing marijuana, researching it, holding patents as a result of that research, and even providing some of the medical marijuana to four federal patients. It's time that the United States truly respected the will of voters and legislatures in states that have legalized medical marijuana. It's time that the federal government stepped aside and allowed unimpeded medical marijuana research to anyone that wishes to pursue such a project. Marijuana is medicine, and the federal government knows it, and has for a very long time.