The National Academy of Sciences has just come out in favor of conducting further research on cannabis. The Academy said last week that they would support getting rid of the restrictions on cannabis research, in effect saying that they are in favor of rescheduling cannabis.
The committee released a report last week, whereupon they decided that it has a great deal of potential for treating chronic conditions.The Academy’s report, The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research combed through ten thousand different scientific studies, all having to do with cannabis in one way or another.
After going through all available data the official stance of the committee was that, “cannabis has both therapeutic value and public health risks.” While that may not sound that promising, remember that much worse things have been said by public officials about cannabis.
Unfortunately, cannabis is a Schedule I substance. This means that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) does not see any medical benefits from the plant. This also means that it is extremely difficult for the scientific community to conduct research needed to prove the DEA’s assertion wrong. The research that we do have, while informative and helpful, is sadly lacking.
Unless the outgoing Obama administration makes some kind of a huge move in the next day, the task of rescheduling cannabis will fall to the incoming Trump administration. Who knows, they may end up doing what Obama’s administration wouldn’t. Why not? Stranger things have happened in the past year.
If scientists were able to conduct the research that they needed, they would finally be able to put to the stigma of cannabis to rest once and for all. It’s well past time for the US Government to end federal cannabis prohibition. A multitude of US states, including California, legalized cannabis last year. Even more states are looking to do the same in 2018. Let’s leave cannabis prohibition in 2016.
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