In order for marijuana skeptics to begin to believe in its benefits, it’s clear that more straight-forward research will have to be done. Most supporters of marijuana would say that the research has been done and is being done right now, but these days, it seems that Americans need a lot more proof in front of them and around them for any sort of belief to take form. Today, Colorado hopes to take another step towards fixing that issue by awarding more than $8 million for medical marijuana research.
According to an article in Yahoo News, the grants are being awarded by the state Board of Health and will go to studies on whether marijuana helps treat epilepsy, brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder. The awards are small, but that’s not the point. The bigger positive outcome of this move is that “Colorado grants are outside of the usual federal channels for approving marijuana research, a process that some say stymies pot research.” Federal approval to study marijuana requires permission from the Food and Drug Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, with only one legal source of the weed at the Marijuana Research Project at the University of Mississippi.
Projects that are set to receive money from Colorado include:
— Two separate studies on using marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder ($3.1 million)
— Whether adolescents and young adults with irritable bowel syndrome benefit from marijuana ($1.2 million)
— Using marijuana to relieve pain in children with brain tumors ($1 million)
— How an oil derived from marijuana plants affects pediatric epilepsy patients ($524,000)
— Comparing marijuana and oxycodone for pain relief ($472,000)
Also of note is that the money is coming from Colorado’s medical marijuana patient fees, not Colorado’s new taxes on recreational pot. Colorado received 57 applications for research grants. An advisory board narrowed those to eight proposals that totaled $7.6 million. The Board is being asked to authorize spending of up to $8.4 million.