Most Americans Support Medical Marijuana, But U.S. Government May be Stifling Needed Research

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Gallup survey released Wednesday showed 58% of Americans back marijuana legalization. That’s the highest level recorded by Gallup since it started asking the question in the 1960s.


Despite the public support, the federal government has made it difficult to conduct research into marijuana’s medical uses, according to John Hudak and Grace Wallack of the Brookings Institution’s Center for Effective Public Management.


“The U.S. government has held back the medical community’s ability to conduct the type of research that the scientific community considers the experimental gold standard in guiding medical practice,” Hudak and Wallack wrote.


“Of all the controlled substances that the federal government regulates, cannabis is treated in a unique manner in ways that specifically impede research. Statutory, regulatory, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers have paralyzed science and threatened the integrity of research freedom in this area.”


They note that changing marijuana’s drug classification from Schedule I to Schedule II would indicate to the medical community that the Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health “are ready to take medical marijuana research seriously, and help overcome a government-sponsored chilling effect on research that manifests in direct and indirect ways,” Hudak and Wallack wrote. By definition, Schedule I drugs have no “accepted medical use.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

U.S. Government Accused of Stifling Medical Marijuana Research (by Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams)

Ending the U.S. Government’s War on Medical Marijuana Research (by John Hudak, Ph.D. and Grace Wallack, Center for Effective Public Management at Brookings) (pdf)

In U.S., 58% Back Legal Marijuana Use (by Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup)

Federal Court Tells the DEA to Stop Harassing Medical Marijuana Providers (by Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post)

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, Scourge of Medical Marijuana, is Quitting (by Ken Broder, AllGov)

Obama Administration Ends 16-Year Rule Forcing Non-Federally-Funded Marijuana Research to be Approved by Government (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Federal Government Finally Funds Research that Explores Positive Uses of Marijuana (by Steve Straehley, AllGov)


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