Category: research

NIDA Acknowledges Drawbacks to Monopoly on Marijuana Supply

Members of the US Senate at a hearing yesterday expressed skepticism in regard to federal policies limiting the ability of investigators to engage in clinical studies of marijuana’s health benefits. Senators heard from representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), University of Mississippi Medical Center, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and Project SAM on a variety of issues The hearing’s most noteworthy moment came when Nora Volkow, director of NIDA, acknowledged that the monopoly on marijuana cultivation for research purposes […]

One Barrier to Cannabis Research Removed, Others Remain

It bears repeating that ample scientific research already exists to contradict cannabis’ federal, schedule I status as a substance without medical utility, lacking acceptable safety, and possessing a high potential of abuse. More clinical research is welcome, but unfortunately science has never driven marijuana policy. If it did, the United States would already have a very different policy in place.

Does Medical Cannabis Legalization Impact Police Safety?

While the US government effectively bans scientific research regarding cannabis and any potential therapeutic uses, you can help University of Texas at Dallas associate professor of Criminology Dr. Robert Morris, II conduct another in a series of cannabis policy research-related questions. Dr. Morris and associates have already published an interesting research article earlier this year at PLoS One, answering the question: Does Legalizing Medical Cannabis Reduce Violent Crimes?* This time around Dr. Morris and his colleagues are asking the sensible question public policy question: ‘Does Medical Cannabis Legalization Impact Police […]

New York City’s New Boss, Same as the Old?

A new report released this week by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project reveals that marijuana arrests have actually increased in New York City under the new leadership of Mayor De Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton. In March 2014, the NYPD performed more marijuana possession arrests than in any month in the last six months under the Bloomberg administration. In fact, March 2014 saw more arrests than in 10 of the 12 months in 2013 under the previous administration. The total number of arrests for first quarter of 2014 are higher […]

New Study Tells Nothing About Marijuana’s Role in Heart Disease

A new study on marijuana appeared in Journal of the American Heart Association. These are interesting data, but we have to interpret them very carefully. Sure, we know cannabis can raise heart rate briefly, but most users develop tolerance to the effect. We’ve also seen (in a much larger sample) that it doesn’t increase mortality rates even among survivors of heart attacks. But the new study made the news anyway. Investigators specifically searched a French database where physicians are legally bound to report any drug-related case that they view as […]

Most Americans Want Legal Marijuana

For the first time since they began polling the question four decades ago, Pew Research Polling has released new survey data that reveals 52% of Americans want marijuana to be legalized. Only 45% were opposed. This support is spread across demographics. The Baby Boomers (50%), Generation X (54%), and Millenials (65%) all have majority support for legalization. The only age demographic that remains opposed is the Silent Generation, those born before 1942, though support in this age group has also significantly increased. 32% of this age group now support legalization, […]

Does Science Matter?

As I wrote last week in an op/ed for The Sacramento Bee, when it comes to the federal government’s policy on marijuana, not so much. Viewpoints: Science supporting medicinal pot is clear via The Sacramento Bee A dozen years ago, California lawmakers did something extraordinary. They authorized investigators throughout California to conduct a series of FDA-approved, gold standard trials to assess whether cannabis is safe and effective as a medicine. In all, researchers conducted more than a dozen clinical studies examining whether cannabis could meet objective standards of safety and […]