How the Government Impedes Scientific Research on Marijuana

How the Government Impedes Scientific Research on Marijuana February 28, 2013

This past weekend was the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference in Washington, DC, and a theoretical physicist from Cal Tech gave a talk in which he laid out the many ways that the federal government impedes scientific research into the potential medical benefits of marijuana and then uses that lack of research to justify continued obstruction.

The most blatant example of this behavior came last year, when NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) blocked an FDA-approved clinical trial testing marijuana as a remedy for post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. It’s especially sad to note that the study participants were veterans, with PTSD deemed untreatable by other means. After 12 years of war, this is how we treat them. […]

As a physicist, I can assure you that this not how physics works. … We are all expected to act like grownups and accept it gracefully as experiments prove our favorite theories are false. In physics, unlike marijuana policy, we consider the right message to send to be the message that’s true. […]

Consider what American science might look like if all research were run like marijuana research is being run now. Suppose the Institute for Creation Science were put in charge of approving paleontology digs and the science of human evolution. Imagine what would happen to the environment if we gave coal and oil companies the power to block any climate research they didn’t like.

There is a bill in Congress that would remove federal oversight authority over marijuana research from the NIDA. I suspect it has about a zero chance of passing because the moment it came up our eager legislators would go all Reefer Madness on it.

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