Medical marijuana advocates won a significant victory last week, opening the way for a University of Arizona researcher to examine whether cannabis can help war vets cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, a move that could lead to broader studies into potential benefits of the plant.
For years, scientists have thought that cannabis could be effective for individuals with PTSD, but they were inhibited from conducting research by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Even though this study was sanctioned in Arizona long ago, federal cannabis research has been restricted to one facility in Mississippi. The University of Arizona has just recently been given the go ahead to conduct their research.
"This is a great day," said the Arizona researcher, Suzanne A. Sisley, clinical assistant professor of psychology at the university's medical school, who has been trying to get the green light for her study for three years. "The merits of a rigorous scientific trial have finally trumped politics.”
Government officials responded saying that this approval did not represent a change in policy or their stance on cannabis as medicine— it was simply a recognition that Sisley's proposal met official standards for research using illegal drugs.
Whether they are happy about it or not doesn’t matter now. If it ends up helping those suffering from PTSD, it’s a battle even a pacifist can be proud of winning.