SMART APPROACHES TO MARIJUANA (SAM) CALLS FOR MARIJUANA RESEARCH OVERHAUL
Recommendations include eliminating the Public Health Service (PHS) committee review for marijuana research applications, initiating a compassionate use program, and expanding marijuana research sites
(WASHINGTON DC)—Given the increasing interest and demand for research into marijuana’s therapeutic potential, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization, today released a new report, Researching Marijuana’s Medical Potential Responsibly: A Six Point Plan, and called for a series of recommendations. Specifically, the six-point plan recommends that the federal government:
(1) Allow multiple licenses to grow marijuana for research purposes, beyond the sole contractor that works with NIDA;
(2) Waive DEA registration requirements for handling CBD;
(3) Eliminate the Public Health Service (PHS) review for marijuana research applications;
(4) Establish compassionate research programs for the seriously ill;
(5) Begin federal-state partnerships to allow a pure CBD product to be dispensed/explored by board-certified neurologists and/or epileptologists to appropriate patients under a research program;
(6) Shut down rogue “medical marijuana” companies that do not play by the rules
“These recommendations can be enacted relatively easily by HHS and DOJ. Congress could also help prod them along,” remarked Dr. Stuart Gitlow, the Immediate Past President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and Vice-Chair of SAM. “It’s time we do the research and, importantly, separate the medical issue from the legalization issue.”
In recent years, numerous companies have profited off of “compassion” without having to play by the rules, the report says. These recommendations would allow real research to move forward while halting rogue companies.
“For too long, simplistic and dangerous recommendations such as marijuana legalization or even rescheduling have been presented as the only ways to do legitimate research on marijuana’s therapeutic potential,” remarked SAM President Kevin A. Sabet, a former White House drug policy advisor. “But there are so many things the government could do to offer the seriously ill experimental medications while not endangering public health through legalization. This report shows them how.”
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) has four main goals:
- To inform public policy with the science of today’s marijuana.
- To prevent the establishment of “Big Marijuana” — and a 21st-Century tobacco industry that would market marijuana to children.
- To promote research of marijuana’s medical properties and produce, non-smoked, non-psychoactive pharmacy-attainable medications.
- To have an adult conversation about reducing the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest.