Joe Neguse Wants Colleges and Universities to be Able to Study Cannabis
Let universities study cannabis. That’s the demand coming from Congressman Joe Neguse (D-CO), who led 25 of his colleagues in a bipartisan letter to House Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). The group of lawmakers is asking the federal government to not withhold money from educational institution wishing to research cannabis. Researchers aiming for any federal funding or tied to a federally funded institution -- including all major research universities -- face significant legal barriers if they want to study the drug. For years, the federal government has allowed one approved grower, at the University of Mississippi, to supply weed to researchers who make it through a burdensome application process. The quality of this marijuana, however, is terrible, and researchers have demanded higher-quality options for years. The little research on marijuana that exists has shown that there’s promising evidence for its use for chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and cancer patients. But some of the same research has found that marijuana may pose risks for respiratory problems if smoked, schizophrenia and psychosis, car crashes, lagging social achievement in life, and perhaps pregnancy-related issues. But solid findings remain elusive, and the National Academies said that the evidence is weak and better research is needed. "Formal research is especially important as more states legalize medical marijuana," the letter from lawmakers reads. "We need medical professionals who are equipped with the knowledge to discuss competently issues surrounding cannabis and health. Evidence-based research regarding cannabis ought to be encouraged in academic settings, not discouraged." More here.