A few years ago, I began to see children in my practice who seemingly responded to marijuana-derived extracts. And as a result, I grew cautiously optimistic that these extracts might be good treatments for the condition.
As a devout believer in evidence-based medicine, I still needed experimental data that could distinguish bona fide effectiveness from a deceptive impression of benefit — a placebo effect.
But my desire to study marijuana ran headlong into a seemingly immovable obstacle: the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The agency’s illogical and stubborn stance makes it all but impossible for scientists to study cannabidiol. I persevered and eventually succeeded in launching a study, but no doubt many others give up, robbing us of valuable insight into marijuana’s potential benefits.
Although medical marijuana is legal in 31 states and recreational marijuana in 9, the federal government continues to consider marijuana a ‘Schedule 1 controlled substance,’ putting it in a category of drugs, along with heroin and LSD, considered to have no medical value and a high potential for abuse.
People with these conditions are potentially missing out — and why? The more I learned about the federal stance toward marijuana, the clearer it became that it is medically uninformed and often defies common sense.
Read full, original post: Federal chokehold on marijuana stymies studies on epilepsy, autism