Marijuana Research Involving War Veterans and Post-Traumatic Stress Approved by Feds, Sort Of

Originally appearing at Strange days for the pro-pot crowd. While medical marijuana is increasingly legal across the land (in 15 states and counting), and the administration of President Obama has had a strangely adversarial relationship to medicinal pot (after taking a hands-off stance at first), the government, at least in part, is saying yes to some unprecedented cannabis research. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) announced this week that the FDA has approved the first-ever outpatient marijuana study. But the pot-versus-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder study is not happening yet. According to California-based MAPS, the notoriously finicky National Institute on Drug Abuse — apparently the only place to get legal weed for a federally approved study — has to agree to sell some pot to researchers. Sounds to us like MAPS isn’t optimistic. It calls NIDA “a very different agency with explicitly political motivations and a monopoly on marijuana for research.” The study would ponder whether cannabis “can help reduce PTSD symptoms in fifty veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).” Regardless of the efficacy, we think vets should be able to smoke pot — just because they served the country. Now that the FDA has approved our planned study of marijuana for veterans for PTSD, it’s up to the National Institute on Drug Abuse to decide whether to allow us to buy the marijuana we need to conduct it. Though Dennis Romero thinks that veterans should be allowed to use marijuana regardless of its effectiveness, it’s important to show federal agencies that the drug is both effective and safe before making it available as a prescription medicine.