The DEA wants more weed and less opioids Federal Register filing set to be published soon, the anti-drug agency is moving to more than quintuple the amount of cannabis that can legally be grown in the U.S. for research purposes—from roughly 1,000 pounds in 2018 to more than 5,400 pounds next year.
At the same time, DEA is also pushing to reduce the amount of certain opioid drugs—such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, fentanyl and others—that are produced in the U.S.
“We’ve lost too many lives to the opioid epidemic and families and communities suffer tragic consequences every day,” DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon said in a press release. “This significant drop in prescriptions by doctors and DEA’s production quota adjustment will continue to reduce the amount of drugs available for illicit diversion and abuse while ensuring that patients will continue to have access to proper medicine.”
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime opponent of marijuana legalization, added that “the opioid epidemic that we are facing today is the worst drug crisis in American history… Cutting opioid production quotas by an average of ten percent next year will help us continue that progress and make it harder to divert these drugs for abuse.”
Medical Marijuana has more than proved itself to be a capable replacement for opiods, it treats thousands of medical problems while being less addictive and healthier then the opiods most doctors prescribe. The 2,450,000 grams of marijuana the narcotics agency wants grown in the country in 2019 is a significant bump up from the 443,680 grams the agency authorized for 2018.
Researchers have uncovered how marijuana plants produce pain-killing molecules that are 30 times stronger than aspirin — a property that gives them medicinal promise as a substitute for opioid pain relievers, which can lead to crippling addiction, researchers said.
“There’s clearly a need to develop alternatives for relief of acute and chronic pain that go beyond opioids,” said Tariq Akhtar, a University of Guelph biology professor and author of the study, in a statement on the newly released research.
Those pain-relieving molecules in cannabis, called cannflavin A and cannflavin B, cut down on pain by fighting off inflammation but are not psychoactive, in contrast with the chemicals that give marijuana its mind-bending effects, Canadian researchers said in a Tuesday news release on their findings.
In the past few years the government has grown leaps and bounds on the view of marijuana. The next two years are expected to push the boundaries even further as we research more and more on the potential marijuana has.