Colorado: Lawmakers Approve Measure Funding State-Sponsored Medical Cannabis Research

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 21, 2014

    State lawmakers have approved legislation, Senate Bill 155, to fund observational and clinical research assessing the safety and therapeutic efficacy of cannabis. Democrat Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the bill into law today.

    The measure establishes a subaccount of up to $10 million within the state’s medical marijuana program fund to be utilized specifically for the purpose of conducting state-sponsored cannabis research. The intent of this new research program is to “gather objective scientific research regarding the efficacy of administering marijuana and its component parts as part of medical treatment.” The law also establishes a ‘scientific advisory council,’ which may include expert participants from around the nation, to evaluate research proposals and make recommendations in regards to funding requests.

    “SB 155 invests the dollars collected from medical marijuana fees into a meaningful effort to study the therapeutic and medical benefits of the drug,” stated Democrat Rep. Crisanta Duran, a co-sponsor of the bill, told The Huffington Post. “Patients will benefit from this investment and Colorado will become a national leader in developing medical marijuana research.”

    In recent years, only one state — California — has previously earmarked state funding to explicitly sponsor clinical cannabis research. That program, established at various universities statewide, funded numerous clinical trials over the past decade evaluating the efficacy of whole-plant cannabis for a variety of conditions, including multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain. A review of these trials published in The Open Neurology Journal concluded, “Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”

    Earlier this month, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) publicly announced in the Federal Register that it is increasing its marijuana production quota from 21 kilograms to 650 kilograms (about 1,443 pounds) in order to meet increasing demand for the plant from clinical investigators.

    Federal regulations permit a farm at the University of Mississippi to cultivate set quantities of cannabis for use in federally approved clinical trials. Regulators at the DEA, the US Food and Drug Administration, PHS (Public Health Service), and the US National Institute on Drug Abuse must approve any clinical protocol seeking to study the plant’s effects in human subjects — including those trials that are either state or privately funded.

    14 responses to “Colorado: Lawmakers Approve Measure Funding State-Sponsored Medical Cannabis Research”

    1. Galileo Galilei says:

      I think we should have an investigation of just how drug war zealots thwarted the advance of medical science for their own ideological benefit. I really mean it when I assert ‘to thwart the advance of medical science is a crime against us all.’ The people responsible should be pursued with the same zealotry they saw fit to use on the sick and dying, and indeed all of us.

      Incidentally, check this link out. Our national attitude towards marijuana seems downright schizophrenic at this time!


    2. In 2010, Missouri police made nearly 18,500 criminal arrests for marijuana possession offenses, one of the highest totals in the country.

    3. Separate provisions in the bill amend Missouri’s “prior and persistent drug offender” law. The changes eliminate the mandate that persons convicted of a drug felony offense for the third time are not eligible for probation or parole.

    4. Unfortunately, despite the passage of SB 491, Missouri residents ought not to expect legal relief any time soon. That is because the changes to the Missouri criminal code do not take effect until Jan.

    5. Provisions in the measure amend marijuana possession penalties. At present, the possession of up to 35 grams of cannabis is classified as a Class A criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to a one-year incarceration and a $1,000 fine.

    6. Lawmakers and advocates spent some eight years drafting the legislation, Senate Bill 491, which significantly revises the state’s criminal code for the first time in over 30 years. Missouri NORML Coordinator Dan Viets served on the Missouri Bar Association Committee that authored many of the criminal code revisions.

    7. Julian says:

      On point, brother. Americans need to know how NIDA (National Institute for Drug Abuse) is paid with our tax dollars under the Controlled Substances Act to research propoganda to say cannabis is not medicine. I dont expect much from them, but now the University of Boulder? They’re fuc¤|£$ experts!

    8. Mark I says:

      Therapeutic research without the federal requirement of addiction research only will help mitigate the demonization of cannabis as medicine. This is a much better use of taxes to educate instead of throwing it away on prohibition.

    9. Anne says:

      When the therapeutic uses of Medical Marijuana are brought to light; and when the people; including gov. workers; see how “our gov. has prohibited the medicinal research on the Herb for over 40 years; and then to think how many people could have been helped; such as glaucoma patients; appetite disorders; chron’s disease; “epilepsy” someone would be “held accountable” for “preventing known cures” which is the Medical Marijuana Herb !

      Fact: Marijuana reduces “ocular pressure”; (which is another name for “glaucoma:’ according to Dr. Ronald Hoffman MD / NYC…

    10. Anne says:

      My Testimony: “Treating the Flu with medical marijuana; vitamin C and Bigelow Mint Tea…

      Upon the onset of the stomach flu many years ago; I began by drinking lots of milk for protein; then I drank orange juice Vitamin C; then I take Vitamin C tablets often during day

      Then I take a “puff of medical marijuana”; then I make a strong pot of Peppermint Tea:
      Recipe: Buy one box of Bigelow Mint Medley; should be 100% peppermint and spearmint leaves
      Brew this Mint Tea using 3x the Mint Tea; steep Tea for 2 or 3 hours; this is the Tea base: keep this in the refrigerator; Heat the Tea by the cupful and drink plain or w/ milk.’

      Drink this Tea (you can add other Teas to Mint
      on the hour every hour…then smoke some weed;

      The combination the Mint and the MMJ Herb “wipe out the flu using my own system…
      I did have to get one prescription though.Anne

      ps The Mint Tea cleanses the system quite well. I suppose you could add Herb to Mint.
      Dr. Hoffman knows a lot about this “wellness”.