- Colorado Board of Health
- Dr. Larry WolkChief Medical Officer
- John HickenlooperGovernor
Make it easier for researchers to study the effects of medicinal marijuana
Hundreds of thousands of veterans are affected by PTSD. It’s crippling, it can be life-threatening, and it’s treatable -- researchers believe cannabis could be the key to finding a life-saving treatment. The only problem is, they can’t get the marijuana they need to conduct their research.
We can’t let this potentially life-changing treatment be stalled any longer, but as of now, there are too many roadblocks to the studies needed to prove cannabis’ effectiveness. Currently, all U.S. clinical trials involving cannabis must purchase their research cannabis from the federal government, which only grows it at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the University of Mississippi. But Ole Miss is unable to provide the right strains researchers need. This leaves valuable research hanging, and wastes precious time.
Just last July, the Colorado Board of Health declined to include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in its medical marijuana program, citing lack of research as the main reason. We want to break the NIDA’s monopoly on supplying the necessary cannabis, and we know how to do it. If the federal government allows Colorado regulators to oversee cannabis growth and testing for research purposes, scientists would have access to the right strains, and plenty of them.
Now, more than ever, these studies are crucial so we can normalize medicinal marijuana use and bring it out of the shadows. In March 2014, renowned psychiatrist Dr. Sue Sisley garnered NIDA approval for a large-scale study of marijuana to treat PTSD. Almost two years have gone by, and her study is still on hold. Meanwhile, the Veterans Administration estimates that 11-20% of soldiers who served in the recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars have PTSD, and a total of 7.7 million adults suffer from the disorder. These people are suffering, and they deserve to know if cannabis can bring them relief.
The current delay, because of lack of supply at NIDA, is completely unnecessary when cannabis grown to specification and tested for purity can be produced in a matter of months by reputable cultivators in Colorado.
It's time to break the NIDA stranglehold on research into cannabis. Tell Colorado to push for broader supply of research marijuana, and let’s see if we can make a difference in the lives of those who suffer from PTSD. Sign my petition.
- Colorado Board of Health
- Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Larry Wolk
The Board of Health must demand that Colorado-grown cannabis be used for research.
Last December, the Board of Health agreed to fund research into the benefits and efficacy of medical marijuana to the tune of $9 million. However, due to government interference, some of those studies may never get off the ground, much less be completed in the time allowed. It's apparent, after the decision in July to deny the petition to add Post-Traumatic Stress-Disorder (PTSD) to the list of conditions for a medical marijuana (cannabis) license, citing not enough research, that this is a critical issue for this Board.
Currently, any clinical trials involving cannabis done in the United States must purchase the necessary cannabis from the federal government, which has been grown for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the University of Mississippi. It's come to light that the farm at Ole Miss is unable to provide the specific cannabinoid ratios required in these studies (specifically high-CBD strains), and have no timeline as to when they might be able to do so. This leaves research hanging, waiting for word that they may someday get the product they need. But when?
This delay is completely unnecessary when cannabis grown to specification and tested for purity can be produced in a matter of months by reputable cultivators in Colorado, if it's not available already. Using locally grown cannabis currently available on the market will provide more real-world results.
I'm asking you, the Colorado Board of Health, to demand that the federal government allow cannabis grown and tested in Colorado be used in research.
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