Medical marijuana is legal for use with a recommendation from a doctor in 23 states and the District of Columbia; the drug is also legal for recreational use in four states. As more states are expected to join the pack in the coming future, the need for research on the drug has never been greater, if a consensus is ever to be formed on the medical benefits of marijuana – if any exist. The Federal Government was recently called upon by eight U.S. senators to facilitate research on the medical benefits of cannabis, The Huffington Post reports.
A Call to Action
The government has a long history of stifling scientific research on marijuana, despite the fact that more and more states have come to see a value in lifting the drug’s prohibition. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and others wrote a letter to several federal drug and health officials, calling for research now that millions of Americans are eligible to use the drug according to state law, the article reports.
“While the federal government has emphasized research on the potential harms associated with the use of marijuana, there is still very limited research on the potential health benefits of marijuana — despite the fact that millions of Americans are now eligible by state law to use the drug for medical purposes,” the senators write.
The Research Needed
It seems that medical marijuana is here to stay; focusing only on the harms of the drug does not serve the greater good. The Federal Government, under the current administration, has lifted the heavily criticized mandatory bureaucratic review process and has called on federal drug and health agencies to conduct more research, the article reports. This gives individual states the power to compile data and conduct comprehensive research on the drug.
“It is time for the federal government to pick up those tools and use them,” the letter states.
The eight senators recommend that federal agencies:
Use their existing tools to collect national data.
Perform Clinical Trials
Marijuana Is Still A Drug
While it may be legal to use cannabis in a number of states, it is important to remember that it is still a mind altering drug. Keeping it away from the developing brains of minors should be the highest priority. The limited research that is available indicates that marijuana can have adverse affects on teenage brains and can result in addiction.
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