Tag: PTSD

Nearly 90% of Americans Support Medical Cannabis Use According to National Poll

The winds of change are blowing cannabis pollen all over America.

Every few months, a new national poll is published that shows a significant increase in support for medical cannabis in the United States. As of June 7th, only nine states have no cannabis laws on the books, and one of those nine (Ohio) has a bill on the Governor’s desk for approval.

States with Cannabis Laws

A recent national poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University between May 24th and May 30th, surveyed 1,561 registered voters from all fifty states regarding the legalization of cannabis for recreational and medicinal purposes.

Do you support or oppose allowing adults to legally use [cannabis] for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it?

Do you support or oppose allowing adults to legally use [cannabis] for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it?

The results show overwhelming support for legal access for medical patients that have a doctor’s recommendation to use cannabis.

In total, 89% of respondents said they supported medical cannabis use for patients. The only groups that reported below 89% support were Republicans (81%) and Hispanic respondents (83%).

Do you think U.S. Veterans Administration doctors should be allowed to prescribe medical [cannabis] in pill form, in states where it is legal, to veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or don't you think so?

Do you think U.S. Veterans [Affairs] doctors should be allowed to prescribe medical [cannabis] in pill form, in states where it is legal, to veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or don’t you think so?

Respondents were also surveyed on whether or not they believed VA doctors should be allowed to recommend cannabis to veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in states that supported medical cannabis.

Overall, 87% of individuals surveyed said they would support VA “prescriptions” for veterans with PTSD.

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Interestingly, only 82% of military households agreed with the sentiment despite strong support from veterans groups across the country.

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Do you think that the use of [cannabis] should be made legal in the United States, or not?

Several recent polls have shown a majority of respondents favor legal cannabis in America (Gallup: 58% Support in Oct 2015 and AP-NORC: 61% Support in Feb 2016).

The Quinnipiac University Poll did not reveal the same dramatic majority of support, but 54% of respondents still said they favored legal cannabis at a federal level.

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The two groups that showed a majority of opposition to legal cannabis in the US were Republicans (62% against) and individuals age sixty-five and older (57% against).

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One piece of evidence that is fascinating is that 69% of respondents aged 18 through 34 support legal cannabis for adults.

As a side note, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (D.A.R.E.) turns 34 next year, adding evidence to the inadequate results associated with abstinence-only education programs.

The D.A.R.E. Program Remains Expensive and Ineffective

The D.A.R.E. Program Remains Expensive and Ineffective

The Quinnipiac University Poll stated a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points and was directed by Douglas Schwartz, PhD.

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Dr. Sue Sisley and MAPS Get Approval from DEA and FDA to Conduct Cannabis Research on Veterans with PTSD

On December 17th, 2014, Dr. Sue Sisley was awarded over $2 million from the Medical Marijuana Research Grant Program out of Colorado. Dr. Sisley proposes a placebo-controlled, triple-blind study of 76 veterans with PTSD.

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On April 21st, 2016, sixteen months after Dr. Sisley’s proposal was given the green light to pursue federal approval, the DEA and FDA have approved of the MAPS-sponsored research. This is an incredibly exciting advancement for American research of cannabis, and opens up many future opportunities for improved clinical data.

Details on the Federally-Approved PTSD Research

According to the press release from MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), the FDA and DEA have approved a clinical study intending to research botanical cannabis for veterans with PTSD.

The study received $2.156 million in grant money from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The trial will examine the “safety and efficacy data on four potencies of smoked marijuana with varying ratios of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).”

Research will be conducted on subjects at two locations: Dr. Sisley’s Phoenix, AZ site and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. “MAPS will work with the FDA to manage and monitor data, oversee drug accountability, and ensure that the study follows Good Clinical Practice guidelines.”

The Future of Cannabis Research in the United States

For the past several decades, it has been nearly impossible for clinical researchers to find funding and federal approval for studies examining the medical efficacy of cannabis.

Just last year, the federal government eliminated one of the four review processes for cannabis research due to the fact that it was majorly redundant and prohibited reasonable scientific progress.

Dr. Sisley’s perseverance in winning this approval is inspiring, and hopefully more researchers will find the confidence to pursue medical cannabis research.

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