A few weeks ago we reported on the possibility of the Drug Enforcement Administration allowing the rescheduling of cannabis under the federal Controlled Substances Act. While this is something they have looked at before, this may be the year that finally brings about some sort of change from the DEA.
Last week the DEA gave the go ahead for the first ever clinical trial of smoked medical marijuana. The study, to be conducted by the Multidisciplinary Approach to Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), will look at the efficacy of medical cannabis in treating the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that afflict many U.S. veterans.
“We have been working towards approval since we opened the Investigational New Drug Application (IND) with the FDA in 2010,” said Amy Emerson, director of clinical research for MAPS. “We are thrilled to see this study overcome the hurdles of approval so we can begin gathering the data. This study is a critical step in moving our botanical drug development program forward at the federal level to gather information on the dosing, risks, and benefits of smoked marijuana for PTSD symptoms.”
Six years and approval from several government agencies later and MAPS can finally study whether or not smoking a joint can help someone with PTSD. Thousands of veterans (and others with PTSD) already know that it does, but it’s not official without studies!
Cannabis is currently a Schedule I substance under the CSA, which means the federal government considers it highly addictive with no medicinal value. This makes it very difficult for studies to be conducted; a rescheduling would free up restrictions on studies as well as allow industries like the banking industry more leeway when it comes to working with state-legal cannabusinesses.