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Get A Federal Grant To Research Marijuana Legalization In The US


federal grant marijuana legalization united states usOn first glance, a federal grant to research marijuana legalization in the United States seems like a good thing, and for all I know it might be. It depends on who gets the grant. If it’s a true marijuana expert, that lets science speak for itself and not let pre-conceived, politically motivated biases get in the way, then this is a very good thing. However, if a prohibitionist gets this grant, than the final results and recommendations won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on. Below is information about the grant, and where/how to apply:

Submission Deadline: May 31, 2013 by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization

Purpose & Objectives

In November 2012, voters passed ballot initiatives in the states of Washington and Colorado to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use.  We know little about the impact this shifting marijuana policy environment has had or will have on epidemiology, prevention and treatment of substance use, misuse, and related health outcomes such as HIV and other risk behavior (i.e. drugged driving). The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) encourages administrative supplements to research that will inform social, behavioral, and public health impacts of marijuana legalization laws/policies. This Funding Opportunity Announcement will support projects with the ability to harness these “quasi-natural experiments” currently underway in the United States to ascertain the effects of these recent changes. Research topics may include but are not limited to: Health outcomes (i.e. respiratory illness, learning and memory, psychiatric symptoms, etc.); Risk behaviors (i.e. drugged driving, sexual/HIV risk behavior); Educational attainment; Crime and delinquency; Moderation of prevention intervention outcomes; Changes in state prevention policies.  Secondary data applications which utilize national or state level longitudinal or panel data are highly encouraged.

Scope of Support

The research proposed under the administrative supplement program must be within the original scope of the parent grant and will contribute to a greater understanding of the implications of marijuana legalization laws/policies on attitudes, substance use, misuse, dependence, disorder, related health outcomes such as HIV risk behaviors, and other risk behaviors such as drugged driving. The funding mechanism being used to support this program, administrative supplements, can be used to cover cost increases that are associated with achieving certain new research objectives related to effects of the shifting marijuana policy environment as long as they remain within the original scope of the project.  Any cost increases need to result from making modifications to the project in order to take advantage of opportunities that would increase the value of the project consistent with its originally approved objectives and purposes.

IC Specific Considerations

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their proposed supplement project with the IC Program Official of the parent grant prior to submission of a supplement application in order to ensure that the supplement content area fits with the scientific priorities of the IC, is within the scope of the parent grant, the budget is appropriate, and to ensure the IC will support a supplement to the parent grant.  If the parent grant is supported by an IC other than NIDA, applicants are encouraged to discuss with both parent IC and NIDA scientific contact.

Award Budget:

Application budgets are limited $250,000 in Direct Costs for one year, must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project, and can be no more than the amount of the current parent award.

The funding mechanism being used to support this program, administrative supplements, can be used to cover cost increases that are associated with achieving certain new research objectives, as long as the research objectives are within the original scope of the project, or the cost increases are for unanticipated expenses within the original scope of the project. Any cost increases need to result from making modifications to the project that would increase or preserve the overall impact of the project consistent with its originally approved objectives and purposes.

Eligible Organizations

All organizations administering an eligible parent award may apply for a supplement under this announcement.

Higher Education Institutions

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

  • Hispanic-serving Institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
  • Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses
  • For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)


  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession


  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations

This announcement is for supplements to existing projects. To be eligible, the parent award must be active and the research proposed in the supplement must be accomplished within the competitive segment. The proposed supplement must be to provide for an increase in costs due to unforeseen circumstances. All additional costs must be within the scope of the peer reviewed and approved project.

Click here to find out more on how to apply and what restrictions/requirements are involved


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. The federal policies obstructing FDA-approved research include a redundant multi-agency review process that creates unnecessary red tape and wasteful government spending. Like other drugs, cannabis should undergo the rigorous FDA approval process. But unlike studies done for other schedule I drugs, only cannabis research must pass this additional review process before the National Institute on Drug Abuse will release the research material. By law NIDA is the sole, monopolistic supplier of all cannabis to be used for these studies.

    NIDA administers this additional review process and has a fundamental conflict of interest in deciding which studies it will allow. The agency’s very mission statement restricts it from approving research that may help uncover any therapeutic potential of marijuana. Thus, scientists who hope to provide relevant information to the medical marijuana community regarding dosing, administration mechanisms, and other practicalities are prevented from obtaining the necessary source material. Even researchers obtaining NIDA’s approval must still contend with ludicrously inferior and radically more expensive cannabis than is readily available from state regulated dispensaries.


  2. What real scientist would want to be associated with NIDA? It’s like putting a creationist in charge of the science department. I’m not putting down religion, but every sane person I’ve met, says there is nothing scientific about religion.

  3. They will only give a grant if you tell them that you want to prove how BAD cannabis is. But, then, you can turn around and say that you were wrong, and it’s actually good. Nothing they can do then.

  4. Unfortunately the grant comes from the NIDA, which means it’ll most likely go to those against legalization. As seen in previous NIDA grant supported studies, they’ll try to suppress it or remove funding if it doesn’t show what they want it to show.

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