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Letters: Researching marijuana

February 02, 2013

Re "Reefer madness at the DEA," Editorial, Jan. 25

You state that whether to reclassify marijuana under federal law to permit its prescription as a medicine should be based on science and an evaluation of the facts rather than myths. I agree. Yet your editorial is based on myth, asserting that the Drug Enforcement Administration has made it nearly impossible for researchers to obtain marijuana for such studies.

To the contrary, not a single scientifically valid study by a qualified researcher has ever been denied by the DEA or, for that matter, by the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Twenty years ago, I denied the reclassification of marijuana from a Schedule I controlled drug because there were no valid scientific studies showing that smoking marijuana was an effective medicine. Surprisingly, as your editorial points out, there is still no scientifically valid study that proves that marijuana is effective, much less safe, as a medicine.

Robert Bonner

Pasadena

The writer is a former DEA administrator.

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