by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the
government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be
enforced." — Albert Einstein
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Stoners and scientists alike may be stoked to learn that a startup biotech company has completed the DNA sequence of Cannabis sativa, or marijuana. But here’s something that could ruin a high: The company hopes the data will help scientists breed pot plants without much THC, the mind-altering chemical in the plant. The goal is instead to maximize other compounds that may have therapeutic benefits.
[…] Kevin McKernan, founder and chief executive officer of the company, called Medicinal Genomics, says Cannabis sativa has 84 other compounds that could fight pain or possibly even shrink tumors. But anti-marijuana laws make it difficult for scientists to breed and study the plant in most countries. That’s one reason he decided to publish his data for free on Amazon’s EC2, a public data cloud.
[…] Opening up access to the data is especially important for a plant like Cannabis, McKernan says, because many scientists who’d like to study it in the U.S. and other countries can’t get a license to grow it. +