Leslie Kramer, special to CNBC.com
Eric Risberg | AP – Jim Hill looks over the marijuana he grows for medical purposes at his farm in Potter Valley, Calif. Hill believes passionately in marijuana’s purported ability to treat the symptoms of diseases ranging from cancer to Alzheimer’s.
Promising new research conducted last year at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has shown that marijuana extracts may hold a key to treating Alzheimer’s disease. The next step: To conduct tests on mice and, if the results are promising, move on to human trials.
But Salk Institute researchers have run into a major hurdle, and not a scientific one: the federal government. The Salk Institute is based in La Jolla, California — a state that legalized marijuana last November — but it is a federally funded research institute.