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medical marijuana product (Photo : Reuters)

The Obama administration has eliminated the need for pot research requiring an official review by the Public Health Service (PHS), such as for medical marijuana studies.  Less red tape will make it easier to conduct scientific research about the medicinal properties of cannabis.

Mario Moreno Zapeda is a White House spokesman. He reported that the Obama administration has supported scientific research on whether marijuana could be a safe and practical medicine.  

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Now weed research will be easier. Scientific studies into the medicinal benefits and negative effects of marijuana use will have fewer road blocks.

The now invalid PHS review protocol stated that its function was to make high-grade marijuana available for well-planned studies, according to HNGN. However, a PHS green light was only required for marijuana research, and not even for other illegal drugs such as heroin or LSD.

Many groups had supported the White House's action. That included a bipartisan group of lawmakers, and even opponents of pot legalization, according to The Huffington Post.

However, some organizations want further action. Bill Piper, a Drug Police Alliance director, argued that the White House should also end the monopoly of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) on marijuana production for medical research.

Dan Riffle, a Marijuana |Policy Project director, told IBT that the U.S. Senate will hold a hearing  on June 22, Wednesday regarding cannabis research. His group expects difficult questions about NIDA's monopoly.

Pot is the only "Schedule 1" drug that private labs cannot produce legally for marijuana research. This means the U.S. government classifies the substance as not having medical value, even though it owns a patent that stresses the drug's antioxidant properties.

The physical and psychological effects of taking marijuana have been highly debated. Medical studies have shown that while smoking weed from time to time is usually not harmful, its tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) always affects users' bodies and minds.  

A total of 23 states have already legalized medical marijuana. According to various studies, over one-third of Americans have tried pot at least once during their lifetimes.