Feds release marijuana to be used in PTSD and smoking study
18 Mar, 2014
Smoked and vaporized marijuana will be given to 50 veterans; first-ever federal smoking study[caption id="attachment_7778" align="alignright" width="500"] Michael Krawitz, Steve Lull and Dakota Cerna speak at the Veterans Panel, American Rights Conference, Lansing[/caption]
WASHINGTON- The US Department of Health and Human Services last week approved a scientific research group’s purchase of marijuana from the federal government to perform an historic study on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and marijuana use. Access to pot grown and processed at the one federal marijuana farm in operation is controlled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), who refused to supply the FDA-approved study until threat of a protest forced the HHS to relent.
The study will measure the effects of five different potencies of smoked or vaporized marijuana in treating symptoms of PTSD in 50 veterans. The federal government has never before approved medical research involving smoked or vaporized marijuana, per the Huffington Post.
The marijuana will come from the federal farm in Mississippi; the study will be conducted by the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) at the University of Arizona. MAPS had threatened a large-scale demonstration for later in 2014 to protest the NIDA refusal to advance their study.
According to CNN, 22 veterans die each day by committing suicide. PTSD is a common experience among veterans returning home from war, and that includes Michigan veterans, says Dakota Serna. Earlier this year Dakota testified in the Michigan Senate Government Operations Committee on behalf of veterans everywhere in support of pending legislation that would favor medical marijuana patients.
“To simply put it marijuana, cannabis, gave me my life back, and it’s not just me- this is veterans all across the country,” Serna told the Senate.
Michigan’s veteran community got a shot in the arm on March 14 when PTSD was added to the list of conditions which qualify a person to enroll in the Medical Marihuana Program (MMP). The approval came in the form of a letter from a Michigan department director. That effort was led by Michigan veteran John Evans and was several years in the making.