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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ole Miss Granted Millions for Marijuana Research

The marijuana movement continues to gain steam, with a bipartisan bill under review for federal medical marijuana legalization. Currently, there are 23 states allowing medical marijuana, 18 states that have decriminalized, and four states that have legalized the drug for recreational purposes.

Long before medical marijuana was a glimmer in people's eye, let alone legalization, since 1968, the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) was the only place federally sanctioned to grow marijuana. Aside from research purposes, only a select few Americans were allowed access to the drug for medical use.

With the changing views on marijuana, the federal government seems to acknowledge where things are heading. This is why, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently granted the University of Mississippi $68.8 million for cultivation and study of the drug, TIME reports.

Ole Miss will grow 30,000 plants at, what the NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse has mandated, a “secure and video monitored outdoor facility of approximately 12 acres” that can support “cultivation, growing, harvesting, analyzing, and storing of research grade cannabis,” according to the article.

“The indoor facility must be at least 1000 square feet, having controls for light intensity, photo cycles, temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide concentration.”

The reported goal of the surge in marijuana research is to cultivate a wide variety of marijuana, with varying THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) levels for testing on a number of health disorders, the article reports. The DEA has granted federal researchers increased access to marijuana to determine the efficacy of the drug for treating debilitating illnesses, such as epilepsy.

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