Colorado Will Research Pot's Medical Value
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Colorado Will Research Pot's Medical Value
Posted by CN Staff on December 26, 2014 at 16:22:05 PT
By Electa Draper, The Denver Post
Source: Denver Post
Colorado -- After Coloradans decreed in 2000 that the cannabis plant had medical value, scientific evidence has had to play catch-up with the anecdotal cases. The list of claims of healing powers of marijuana is long, while the list of full-scale U.S. studies on medicinal benefits is short, largely because pot use is still against federal law and doesn't get many federal research dollars.Colorado voters approved themedical use of pot in 2000 and recreational use in 2012. Now Colorado is leading the nation in state spending on studies of medical marijuana.
The state's Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council considered Dec. 17 how to spend $9 million set aside by the state legislature for two- to three-year studies on marijuana treatment for chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, Parkinson's disease tremors, pediatric epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease and palliative care for pediatric brain tumors."You can't ignore the anecdotal evidence. It's compelling," said Dr. Larry Wolk, director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "I wouldn't want to deprive families' hope or treatment. But medical effectiveness still needs to be verified. With these studies, we could have some answers within the next year."There were 116,287 people holding medical marijuana cards in Colorado at the end of September  about 3,400 more than at the end of last year before recreational pot became legal  and 816 physicians with medical pot patients. About 66 percent are male, the average age is 42 and 427 patients are under age 18.Most patients, 93 percent, are using medical marijuana to treat severe pain. Muscle spasms are the reason given by 15 percent of card holders. Some patients have listed both as a reason.Conditions recognized for medical cannabis use in Colorado are cachexia (or wasting syndrome), cancer, chronic pain, chronic nervous system disorders, epilepsy and other seizure disorders, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other muscle spasticity disorders and nausea."It's unlikely that marijuana is effective for the wide range of health problems approved under Colorado law," said the University of Colorado's Dr. Andrew Monte, who co-wrote a viewpoint piece on legalizing marijuana published Dec. 8 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.SnippedComplete Article: Denver Post (CO)Author: Electa Draper, The Denver PostPublished: December 26, 2014Copyright: 2014 The Denver Post Website: openforum denverpost.comCannabisNews  Medical Marijuana  Archives 
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