BY: JARED BEAUBIEN-TAYLOR
Researchers are looking for 25,000 participants to take part in a recreational marijuana study. It aims to study the effects of pot on long-term recreational users.
Berlin’s Research initiative on Cannabis Consumption submitted the “Scientific Study on Cannabis Sequences for Mentally Healthy Adult Consumers” at the end of April 2017 to the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM).
Those selected for the study would be allowed to pick up 30 grams of pharmaceutical cannabis.
They must be 18 years of age, have already used cannabis in the past, and must not be prone to addiction or psychiatric problems.
The chief executive of the project and lawyer claims that in Germany, several million people regularly get high on cannabis. Reports say that accounts for around 6-7 per cent of the population.
At least 2,000 Berlin citizens have already applied for the study. There is no word yet on if non-Germans are being accepted.
American Cannabis Research
On this side of the pond, researchers are having more trouble attaining the product and funds required for useful research.
At the end of April 2017, around the same time researchers in Berlin applied for their study, the Institute of Cannabis Research had its inaugural conference at the Colorado State University.
The Institute of Cannabis Research was founded in June 2016 and aims to research all streams associated with cannabis including: science, technology, engineering, math, psychology, advertising and social sciences.
The University has been running a pilot program from which it is now offering a Cannabis Studies Minor, Fall 2017.
Raphael Mechoulam, one of the keynote speakers of the conference, is considered by some as the godfather of cannabis research. He was the first person to isolate and synthesize THC in the 70s, and he recounted at the event how he was able to complete his study:
In the 1970s, Mechoulam approached Israeli Police, letting them know he’d need some of their seized hashish to conduct research on. They saw nothing wrong with that and handed over five kilos. He then went to Israel’s equivalent of America’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), asked them permission to conduct research on the seized hashish, to which they replied “sure, go ahead.”
The story was met with a round of applause from the audience.
Unfortunately, it still may be a while before that level of openness towards cannabis research is adopted by officials in America.
In Canada, a gram of marijuana costs $10 on the street and $2,000 for researchers (not including the time and paperwork required to legally attain the substance).
In the U.S., thanks to the current administration’s stance on scientific evidence, the only cannabis available to American researchers for study purposes comes from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) which only grows in Mississippi and is hailed as being as effective as dried oregano.
The current U.S. administration finds science more subversive than anything, but hopefully cannabis trailblazers like Raphael Mechoulam and Colorado State University start to change political discourse on the matter.