Friday, April 25, 2014

Docs eager to study effects of marijuana on seizures, PTSD

Researchers are eager to tap $10 million from Colorado’s health department to study the potential benefits and harms of marijuana.
The most pressing concerns center on whether marijuana can help veterans suffering from PTSD and children with debilitating seizures.
A bill that would allow the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to solicit and fund marijuana research now is making its way through the Colorado Senate. (Click here to read Senate Bill 14-155.)
The $10 million that would fund the studies is separate from marijuana taxes on recreational sales that are beginning to flow into state coffers. Lawmakers are bracing to debate another bill that would devote about $24 million in pot taxes to several efforts including youth prevention, law enforcement, treatment for adults in county jails and an education campaign aimed at decreasing impaired driving, drug abuse and potential harms from marijuana to kids and pregnant women.
The millions for research come from fees that people have paid to obtain marijuana cards since Colorado first allowed medical marijuana in 2000.
Colorado’s major hospitals and research institutions including the University of Colorado, Children’s Hospital Colorado and National Jewish Health sent representatives or letters to hearings in the Senate, expressing their support for the bill and a desire to conduct research.
Parents desperate for cures for seizures have been flocking to Colorado eager to see if marijuana derivatives can help their children. While hopes are high, doctors have little evidence to guide them.
By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon
For the rest of the story, go to Health News Colorado.

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