Established in 1910, the University of Mississippi boasts an enrollment of well over 16,000 students. The Rebels from “Ole Miss”, as it is commonly referred to, have not brought back a national championship since their football team did it back in 1962.
What the campus is more famous for, in counter-culture circles anyway, is the fact that the government has been growing weed there for “research purposes” for decades.
But with more and more private and foreign labs returning study after study outlining the vast medicinal benefits to the cannabis plant, the feds are looking to crank up their own production in hopes of giving their own researchers a chance at being relevant in the discussion of cannabis use.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s request for the authority to grow more weed at Ole Miss was approved this past Tuesday by the DEA. Far more than an extra nug or two kicked down from your caregiver, the NIDA-powered pot growing program at the university was granted the authority to up their current max annual harvest of 46.3 pounds, to 1,433 pounds!
Holy smokes, that is a lot of more-than-likely-horrible pot.
The DEA put the request into record back in May of this year, and asked for any comments from the public either in support of the request, or otherwise.
After 30 days, only one comment was submitted, and it was in favor of the boost in production for the country’s only federally funded cannabis cultivation program – that we know of.
The same issue was thought to be handled back in September of 2013, when the 46.3 pound annual quota was reviewed and re-established by the DEA. Now they are saying that they grossly underestimated the program’s demand for…research materials.
In their only comment on the topic so far, the DEA stated, “Due to the manufacturing process unique to marijuana, including the length of time and conditions necessary to propagate and process the substance for distribution in 2014, it is necessary to adjust the initial, established 2014 aggregate production quota for marijuana as soon as practicable.”
Oh, it’s hard to grow good weed? It takes a long time? You want more weed, without interruption? Welcome to the life of a cannabis grower, fellas. Now imagine if you had to hide your operation from the neighbors next door, and if visits from the DEA weren’t so pleasant.
The DEA and NIDA refuse to disclose exactly how much weed has been grown year-to-date in 2014. In fact, the DEA has refused to comment any further than their brief explanation above.
It would have been great to be able to watch exactly how hard DEA Director Michelle Leonhart squeezed her pen as she begrudgingly signed the approval to boost the production, considering she still refuses to admit that weed is more safe than crack or heroin, and she has publicly chastised President Obama for admitting that weed is no more dangerous than alcohol.
While the jump from 46.3 to 1,433 seems steep, both numbers are way down from the quota of 9,920 pounds that stood between 2005-2009, during George W. Bush’s second term as president.
The cannabis cultivation program at the University of Mississippi is, and always has been, shrouded in a haze of secrecy. It is hard to say what the motives are behind this latest quota adjustment, but we can only hope that the result is more truth, and less propaganda.