Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) September 15, 2021 – Two research projects investigating the possible benefits of medical cannabis for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder have been awarded $20 million in grants funded by marijuana tax revenue from the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) received $13 million, and Wayne State University’s Bureau of Community Action and Economic Opportunity received seven million dollars.
Both studies seek to examine how cannabinoids could be used as an effective therapy for veterans with medical conditions like PTSD and depression and how it might affect the suicide rate among them. The researchers’ ultimate goal is to discover how to one day make cannabis a prescribable medicine that is covered by insurance. It is the first clinical trial to examine high-THC marijuana administered by inhalation.
“Evidence supports medical marijuana being beneficial for people with chronic pain, mental health disorders and other conditions, often with fewer side effects when compared to pharmaceutical treatments,” said Michigan VA disability attorney James G. Fausone of Legal Help for Veterans in Northville. “If veterans can benefit from this and find relief from whatever symptoms they are experiencing, they should be able to do so safely. This is especially true when PTSD and suicide occur at such staggering rates among veterans.”
In the MAPS study, a group of 320 veterans with PTSD, clinical depression and/or substance abuse disorder will be smoking high-quality marijuana on an outpatient basis for five weeks. Researchers hope that allowing subjects to use the cannabis on their own terms — deciding where, when and how much to smoke themselves – will lead to more authentic and realistic results.
Medical cannabis uses and research for veterans has long been stifled by regulation and other obstacles. However, much anecdotal evidence exists for the efficacy of marijuana for the treatment of many conditions that are common among veterans. If clinical studies also support that information, then veterans might one day be able to be prescribed high-quality, smokeable marijuana under a doctor’s supervision. Canada and Israel already allow this and reimburse vets for the prescribed amount of marijuana.
“Michiganders are granting non-profit researchers the opportunity to establish whether marijuana is helpful for veterans with PTSD,” MAPS founder and executive director Rick Doblin said in a statement. “If so, we will seek to return that generosity by developing a public-benefit cannabis pharmaceutical product that would be eligible for insurance coverage, just like any other pharmaceutical drug.”
Michigan voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana use for adults and established the Veteran Marijuana Research Grant Program in 2018. Tax revenue generated by the sale of marijuana products was earmarked to fund the research.
For more information on James G. Fausone and Legal Help for Veterans, visit https://www.legalhelpforveterans.com/.
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