New York Times & Lode Van de Velde via Wikimedia Commons & PublicDomainPictures.net
The old gray lady, The New York Times, wrote an editorial last week encouraging the Trump Administration to significantly expand the opportunity for US researchers to grow and study cannabis. It reminded me a bit of the 2013 Sanjay Gupta MD special on cannabis on CNN. Gupta originally believed that pot is dangerous, a gateway drug, and its medical benefits are not proven. He then spent a year studying the drug and said, basically, not only do we need to do this, we need to do it right now.
The editorial cited a recent report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The report says there is evidence to support that pot significantly helps chronic pain. They did say smoking pot makes driving more dangerous, but also said they found evidence that smoking pot does not increase the risk for cancers associated with tobacco use. But it also talks a lot about how there is not enough research on things like pot’s effect on the heart and the immune system.
The Times noted the NASEM’s statement that there are several “challenges and barriers” in conducting research on cannabis. The paper’s editors strongly urged Trump and the Congress, if they are not changing marijuana from a Schedule I drug, to at least “remove the regulatory barriers to research and let scientists get to work.” This humble blogger strongly agrees.