A new study has revealed that the majority of research into cannabis and marijuana focuses on the harms of its use. As positive research surrounding cannabis is the key to making the plant legal, this news comes as a blow to cannabis enthusiasts.
For the past 50 years, since the War on Drugs began, cannabis has sat alongside heroin and ecstasy in the schedule 1 category of drugs. As we've discussed previously, this categorization has created a catch-22 scenario for all drugs within it.
For example, schedule 1 substances are deemed to have "no accepted medical use," and a high potential for abuse. Moreover, drugs within the schedule 1 category become more difficult to perform research on, as they are deemed potentially dangerous. And thus, the very same research that might bring cannabis out of the Schedule 1 category, is oftentimes being prevented from occurring due to the restrictive effects of studying a schedule 1 drug.
Now, a new analysis into the research and funding surrounding cannabis in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. has found some potentially troubling results. Of the $1.56 billion that was poured into cannabis research since 2000, the analysis found that roughly half of that money was spent on looking into the harms and dangers of cannabis use and abuse.
The largest amount of money came from the U.S. National Institute for Drug Abuse, which invested $1 billion into studying cannabis and its effects, predominantly through the lens of harmful effects of cannabis misuse and abuse. Comparatively, the U.K. spent $40 million on researching cannabis, and Canada spent $32 million.
Not only is it difficult to research cannabis due to its scheduling, but most of the research that is being done is investigating the harms of cannabis use rather than the benefits – thus providing more fodder for detractors of the plant, and helping to further cement cannabis's position as being schedule 1. This is especially problematic when one considers the dubious justifications for the War on Drugs, which amounted to several vested interests coalescing to clamp down on cannabis.
Though it isn't all doom and gloom for the cannabis plant, and there are in fact many studies into the benefits of its consumption. With regard to cannabidiol (CBD), virtually every condition under the sun is being investigated, with a particular emphasis on epilepsy and MS.
In the same sense that cannabis's illegality has made it difficult to research the plant, the growing body of evidence to support cannabis's medicinal qualities will continue to pile up and provide a strong counter-argument to the current scheduling of cannabis and its contents.
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