Colorado Funds Medical Marijuana Research

Colorado Becomes First State to Fund Medical Marijuana Research

medical marijuana researchOn Wednesday, December 17th, state officials in Colorado agreed to award $8 million to the study of medical marijuana to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, childhood epilepsy, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The state is now the first to fund specific medical marijuana research into uses of marijuana.

Colorado was one of the first states to legalize recreational use of medical marijuana in the 2012 elections, and is one of 23 states that has legalized medical marijuana use. However, marijuana remains illegal under federal law, meaning agencies like the Food and Drug Administration cannot study, or fund studies, on the potential benefits and side effects of medical marijuana.

The Colorado Department of Public Health has decided to take medical marijuana research into its own hands. The department has created eight grants for landmark peer-reviewed studies of the drug. However, the department was clear about its stance on non-medical use of marijuana.

“The grant program … should not be construed as encouraging or sanctioning the social or recreational use of marijuana,” the department said in a statement.

In 2013, the Department of Public Health set up a Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council which allocated $10 million to administration of the grant process. The council reached out for applications to study medical benefits of marijuana, and received three dozen applications. On Wednesday, the department finally awarded the grants to eight groups. Six of those grants will go to the University of Colorado.

“It’s true that little research has been done due to federal restrictions. I think that will change as more states are legalizing,” said Brian Smith, a spokesman for the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which oversees legalized recreational cannabis there.

“This is the first time we’ve had government money to look at the efficacy of marijuana, not the harms of marijuana,” said Dr. Suzanne Sisley, a Scottsdale, Arizona, psychiatrist who will help run a study on marijuana for veterans with PTSD.

“There’s nowhere else in medicine where we give a patient some seeds and say, ‘Go grow this and process it and then figure out how much you need,'” Dr. Larry Wolk, Colorado’s Chief Medical Officer, who says the lack of scientific research into medical marijuana leaves sick people in a bind with dosages.

However, on the same day, a group of medical marijuana patients announced that they plan to sue Colorado over the research opportunities. The lawsuit states that Colorado’s medical marijuana laws allow excess cash generated by the program to be refunded to patients who pay the fees, not syphoned into research grants.

If You Face Marijuana Charges, Including Medical Marijuana Use Charges, The Strom Law Firm Can Help

Although many states have passed medical marijuana legislation, South Carolina still has not legalized the use of marijuana for recreational or medical reasons. You could be charged with drug possessionIf you or a loved one have been found with medical marijuana, you could face criminal charges ranging from misdemeanor to felony, depending on how much marijuana was on your person, and what your intent was with the drug. The Columbia, South Carolina drug crimes attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. Do not let drug charges for medical marijuana hurt your reputation or your future aspirations. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today for help. 803.252.4800

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