US scientists can soon run experiments on stronger marijuana

Scientists who study medical marijuana will soon have access to a wider variety of strains. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) — the federal "dealer" that supplies the drug to scientists — has received numerous complaints from researchers that the drug they supply is too weak compared with what's sold on the streets, legal or otherwise. But the complaints aren't responsible for the change, Nature reports. NIDA's willingness to expand the types of plants available to researchers is tied to the fact that legal marijuana is becoming increasingly available.

"We want to be able to evaluate the claims that marijuana is therapeutically beneficial," Nora Volkow, director of NIDA in Rockville, Maryland, told Nature.

The pot that NIDA gives to qualifying research groups is grown at the University of Mississippi. In 2014, the farm increased production from about 40 pounds to more than 1,300 pounds, and NIDA increased its spending...

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