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Marijuana research (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)

Feds open door to more research on pot's benefits, but keep it on 'most dangerous' list


The Obama administration plans to remove roadblocks to marijuana research by universities.

Currently, the University of Mississippi is the only institution that can grow marijuana for medical studies.

It's a big-time policy change for scientists trying to research the medical benefits of marijuana for conditions like Alzheimer's, Arthritis, Parkinson's and Crohn's disease.

New research could also be incredibly helpful for U.S. veterans, many of whom suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

State vs federal laws

Twenty-five U.S. states have approved the use of medical marijuana for a number of health conditions, but the research backing up these treatments is slim because of the lack of marijuana available to conduct research.

At the federal level, marijuana will remain a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has no medical use and a high potential for addiction. The Drug Enforcement Administration has kept pot on the Schedule 1 list for the past 46 years.

Petitions demanding a change to this policy have been submitted to the DEA in 2009 and 2011, but the agency has so far not responded.

President Obama himself smoked marijuana in college, once upon a time. 

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