October 28, 2003


Sens. Kennedy, Kerry Support University of Massachusetts Marijuana Research Plan (Marijuana Policy Project press release, 10/23/2003)

Both U.S. senators from Massachusetts, Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry, have asked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to approve a groundbreaking proposal from the University of Massachusetts Amherst to manufacture marijuana for FDA-approved medical marijuana research.

At present, all U.S. medical marijuana researchers are required to obtain marijuana for medical studies from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. NIDA's marijuana, grown on a farm in Mississippi, has been criticized for its poor quality ...

This will not only create jobs, it will light a fire in UMass's research program. Nice work, Sens. Kennedy and Kerry.

I am a little curious about one thing. Complaints have also been lodged about the quality of Canadian government marijuana. In serious medical research such as this, is it really important that the test subjects have high quality marijuana? If medical scientists were to experiment on the effects of red wine, would it have to be Chateau Mouton Rothschild?

Posted by Paul Jaminet at October 28, 2003 6:20 PM

Given their past proclivites, I believe Sen. Kennedy should conduct the Chateau Mouton Rothschild tests, while Sen. Kerry volunteers for the medical marijuana study. Neither intoxicant could further impare their thinking any more than it is already compromised.

Posted by: John at October 28, 2003 7:46 PM

But of course!

Posted by: genecis at October 28, 2003 8:05 PM

What I don't understand: since the police regularly confiscate and destroy lots of quality pot, why does anyone need to start a special government pot farm?

Posted by: PapayaSF at October 28, 2003 8:47 PM

It doesn't have to be Rothschild but it shouldn't be vinegar. What I find terribly amusing is that total burnouts can grow better marijauna that government research labs. What is wrong with this picture?


In addition to quality, one would like consistency as well if one is really doing research. Seized marijauna is likely to vary strongly.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at October 28, 2003 9:43 PM

Yes, but 1) I suspect the variance within batches isn't much, as it's likely to have come from the same grower, and 2) they'll have to test the government pot to establish its potency anyway, so why not just test the confiscated stuff?

Posted by: PapayaSF at October 28, 2003 10:41 PM

This, of course, only confirms my theory that the drug problem can be solved not by legalizing but by socializing it, thus driving private supplies out of the market while providing shortages of low-quality goods.

Posted by: mike earl at October 29, 2003 12:11 AM

The good senators oppose the federal government's monopoly on growth and distribution of marijuana.

But, they support the states' government monopoly on educating your kids.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at October 29, 2003 12:12 AM

Mr. Coupal:

I listen to the local publicly funded radio station (WMNF 88.5) on occasion. Similar to your observation, I always wonder why they assail the big corporations as being the root of all evil, but embrace big government as the solution to all problems.

Posted by: Buttercup at October 29, 2003 6:51 AM

Buttercup --

Because they have a say in government.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 29, 2003 7:59 AM

David -- good point, but: by becoming an investor, employee, customer, or partner anyone can gain a say in what corporations do. Liberals jealously guard their influence over the institutions they reside in -- try to persuade a professor that academic freedom (i.e., control of universities by professors) or a journalist that independence of the press (i.e. control over editorial decisions by journalists) are mistakes! -- while asserting government control over the institutions others are part of. Meanwhile, liberals have had disproportionate influence upon government for at least three generations; under equality a liberal's voice would be diluted 300 million times, but under big government it may be much stronger. In short, it seems to me they want a disproportionate say, not a say, in what's done.

Posted by: pj at October 29, 2003 10:29 AM