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After years of inactivity, the Drug Enforcement Administration has finally taken steps toward approving more suppliers of medical marijuana for scientific research, but its plan is raising questions about the role that the agency would play.

In a notice issued late last week, the DEA proposed a new rule that would have the agency take on a host of new responsibilities by inserting itself into the supply chain. Specifically, the DEA would control distribution by purchasing crops from manufacturers and shipping them to marijuana researchers. The DEA explained such a step would be necessary to remain in compliance with international treaties.

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