Medical Marijuana Researcher Loses University Position Over PTSD Trial

Medical marijuana research is complicated by federal law, the FDA, as well as varying opinions in the public and private sector. According to recent reports, a University of Arizona researcher lost her job over a study involving the impact of marijuana use on post-traumatic stress (PTSD) patients, especially veterans who have been involved in combat. The professor has called her own work some of the most controversial at the university, even though it was approved by the FDA. Now her passion, dedication, and long-term commitment to the research project has left her out of work.

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The trial was aimed at reviewing the safety and efficacy of using medical marijuana to treat veterans with PTSD. Many of the veterans were not responding well to other forms of treatments. The new study had selected 70 participants to participate, testing various potency and placebos. Our Orange County medical marijuana attorneys are dedicated to raising awareness to protect the rights of users, researchers, distributors and growers nationwide. We are also abreast of legal issues and advancements in marijuana research.

The difficulty in getting federal approval to study the medical efficacy of pot is well-documented. As cannabis is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug (the most dangerous class), the federal government and the FDA still view marijuana as a drug with no recognized medical use. It is also regarded as a drug with the potential for abuse and addictive qualities. Despite the classification, medical researchers are still seeking opportunities to identify the benefits of medical marijuana treatment.

The psychiatrist and doctor working for the University of Arizona had been treating veterans with PTSD for over 15 years. She had gone through various government approvals for three years, contingent on the university approving a location for the study. In addition to failing to provide her with a location, she was notified that her contracts with the university had expired and would not be renewed. Losing her job was seen as a politically motivated action and she was not given a reason for being denied a contract renewal.

Though the university is not speaking directly about this project or this professor, it has stated that a number of professors received the same non-renewal notices. The university also claims that the failure to renew the contract is not job related. According to a spokesperson, the university championed legislation to perform medical marijuana research on campus. In fact, the university claims it will continue with the research funding organization, even though that organization has sided with the professor who lost her job. Since losing her contract, the professor has taken legal action and filed an appeal for reinstatement.

The professor and other medical marijuana research advocates are continuing to fight to explore treatment efficacy on behalf of PTSD patients. Victims of PTSD or “shell shock” will suffer a range of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, chemical dependency, mood disorders, insomnia, and even hallucinations. Marijuana has been shown to treat some nerve disorders and could provide palliative support to patients.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

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Getting Started in the Medical Marijuana Industry, May 15, 2014, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog
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