Obama Administration Blocks FDA-Approved Study of Marijuana for Veterans
Thursday, October 06, 2011
The Obama administration is having a difficult time making up its mind over whether to green-light the first-ever study of marijuana and its medicinal impact on veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In April, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially approved a proposed medical study on marijuana and PTSD by the nonprofit research organization the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Dr. Sue Sisley of the University of Arizona at Phoenix planned to lead the research.
The plan was to test five different doses of marijuana on 50 combat veterans with PTSD whose symptoms have not improved with the aid of conventional treatments, such as talk therapy, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medicines.
But in order to carry out the study, MAPS needed to legally obtain marijuana through the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the FDA. This week, the department refused to sell government-grown marijuana to MAPS, effectively putting a halt to the research project.
MAPS is now taking the government to court, with the help of the Washington, DC-based law firm Covington & Burling, which is representing the nonprofit for free. This is the same firm that used to employ Attorney General Eric Holder.
“Hundreds of veterans in medical marijuana states already report using marijuana to control their PTSD symptoms,” MAPS said in a statement. “The growing number of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with combat-related trauma combined with large numbers of treatment-resistant veterans highlights the pressing need for research into additional treatments for PTSD.”
Federal Agency Blocks FDA-Approved Marijuana Research for Veterans (by Eric Dolan, Raw Story)
Marijuana Study of Traumatized Veterans Stuck in Regulatory Limbo (by Brian Vastag, Washington Post)
Marijuana May Be Studied for Combat Disorder (by Dan Frosch, New York Times)
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