By Ed Coghlan
There is strong anecdotal evidence that medical marijuana positively helps people suffering from chronic pain.
The reason the evidence is anecdotal has been the government’s strong resistance to studying the impact of marijuana on chronic illness.
Why the resistance.
Because marijuana is technically an “illegal drug” when it comes to federal law.
But states have been legalizing recreational marijuana - starting in Colorado - which is giving an opportunity for more “study.”
That’s why news of a groundbreaking trial funded by the state of Colorado is notable. The hope it that the study will shed light on the use of medical marijuana by veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
For the first time, the Drug Enforcement Agency has given the green light to a controlled, clinical trial of medical marijuana for veterans suffering from PTSD.
In Colorado, veterans have been fighting the Colorado Board of Health and Department of Public Health and Environment to include PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, but the board has repeatedly denied the request, citing a lack of scientific evidence.
Now, a $2 million research grant awarded by Colorado has the potential to help provide the evidence many states are seeking.
“It’s very significant,” Marcel Bonn-Miller, principal investigator for the study told the Denver Post.
Bonn-Miller said the trial, which took more than a year to gain approval from the DEA, will be conducted in medical centers in Arizona and Maryland. Veterans will smoke marijuana from pipes. A control group will smoke a placebo. The study could take up to three years, but it will still mark an important first for research of this kind.
“Without Colorado’s initiative in setting aside money for this, this work couldn’t get done,” Bonn-Miller said. “The biggest stumbling block or barrier to this research is funding, more so than federal regulations or red tape.”