Researchers at the Salk Institute in California believe that cannabis could cure forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s, but federal prohibition laws are keeping them from completing their research. Cannabis extracts, which are useful in treating many other medical conditions, could be the key to treating and possibly reversing the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists have already seen breakthroughs in their research, and are ready to start the next phase of testing on rodents. There is one major problem: the Salk Institute is federally funded and cannabis is a schedule one drug.
One of the reasons why cannabis research is lacking in some areas is because it’s difficult to conduct scientific studies on schedule one substances, because they are seen as not having any medicinal value. In order to continue their work, researchers must first get approval from the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and the National Institutes of Health before they acquire the cannabis plants needed to continue their research.
Under the Obama administration, this would be a small hurdle. Under the Trump administration however, the process feels more like trying to scale the giant wall that Trump plans to build. The researchers filed their application three months ago, at the end of last year. They have yet to hear back.
Naturally, the team is frustrated. Professor at the Salk Institute and lead scientist on the project Dr. David Schubert had this to say, “It’s so blatantly obvious that this plant should be studied in greater detail, and yet we have this major roadblock stopping it. It’s hard enough to get funding without having to worry about legal issues on top of it. It’s odd and somewhat demoralizing.”
Anyone who’s had a loved one suffer from Alzheimer’s, or any other form of dementia, knows how tragic and painful the condition can be. Cannabis could cure Alzheimer’s and end that suffering once and for all. The fact that the federal government is standing in the way shows that they are putting personal feelings ahead of the public good. Aren’t these people supposed to be public servants?
It’s long past time for the US government to stop this pointless vendetta against a plant that comes from the Earth.
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