HHS Approves Marijuana Study for Veterans With PTSD


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In a surprising move, the feds have approved a University of Arizona study of medical marijuana for treating veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Since marijuana is still federally classified as a Schedule I controlled substance—a "dangerous drug" with "no accepted medical use"—medical research on marijuana in America is generally illegal.

This is one of just two times the federal government has approved clinical trials involving medical marijuana in the past decade. A March 12, 2014, letter from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) cleared the study's funder, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), to buy medical marijuana from the one federally-sanctioned research farm in the U.S. 

"MAPS has been working for over 22 years to start marijuana drug development research, and this is the first time we've been granted permission to purchase marijuana from NIDA," the group said in a statement. The study must still be approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), but MAPS says its "optimistic" the DEA will approve the study in a timely manner. 

The HHS decision "surprised marijuana advocates who have struggled for decades to secure federal approval for research into the drug's medical uses," Associated Press reports. Researchers, advocates, and general folks for sensible drug policy hope it's a signal that federal attitudes toward drug research are starting to shift.

So far, it's been a good month all around for drug research. In early March, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease published results from the first study in four decades to examine LSD's therapeutic potential in humans. 

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  1. For PTSD, you’re going to want a strain that is primarily anti-anxiety, so be careful grabbing any old genetics on this one, you may end up worse off than you were. For a comprehensive assay of the characteristics head on over to, where you can tailor the strain to your particular symptoms, but I can recommend a few which should be good to get you started:

    -Critical Mass – Heavy-yielding, mostly indica strain which is very strong, but is almost entirely without paranoia. Kind of a couchlock, but in a pleasant way.

    -Super Silver Haze – Pure sativa so more motivational and up, good for getting things done during the day, very good for anxiety

    -AK-47 – Possibly one of the most inaptly-named strains of all time, you’d think this one would be for skate punks looking to get stoked, but it is one of the most relaxing, meditative strains ever created. Can’t go wrong with this one.

    Here’s one leafly recommends, which I could not disagree with more: Romulan. INTENSE paranoia on that one which could probably trigger a panic attack if you’re not careful, so stay away from that one.

    Good Luck!

    1. They have to use Obama’s stash

      “Within this building right here,” he said, “we have seven different alarm systems. We have camera systems. We have cameras in this room.” Cameras, an aide tells us, that are monitored by the Drug Enforcement Agency in suburban Washington.

      The nearby fields, where the marijuana is grown, are double fenced, ElSohly said.

      The fields are empty now, awaiting the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s next order. But when a crop is in growing, armed guards are posted around the clock in the low guard towers.

      And everywhere, there are locked doors. Keyed locks and push-button locks. Locks are as omnipresent as the skunk-like smell of raw marijuana.

      1. Yeah, that’s exactly the environment I would send people who have PTSD.

        Coming up: study results show that pot makes PTSD worse!

        1. Coming after that: Veterans railroaded into being labeled mentally unfit also get to be federal criminals.


      2. Amazing isn’t it? And this is a plant which the DEA’s own administrative law judge called “the safest therapeutically active substance known to man.”

        1. DEA’s own administrative law judge

          Yeah,but how many dogs has he shot?

        2. “the safest therapeutically active substance known to man.”

          I’m for the full legalization of all drugs but the way that pot advocates overdo it sometimes is just too much. pls stahp.

          1. Believe it or not, that quote is not from a pot advocate, but federal Judge Francis Young, who was given the task by Richard Nixon to make a determination of the safety and efficacy of marijuana for the DEA.

            It’s ironic that you’d mistake a DEA law judge for a pot advocate, but I guess that goes to show you how skewed this issue has become, even among presumably in-the-know hit and run folks.

          2. It’s certainly true in terms of toxicity. It is practically impossible to take a fatal dose of any pot preparation. You can do so pretty easily with most over the counter drugs. Smoking is bad, but unnecessary. You could argue about the psychological effects, but among drugs that have significant psychological effects, it it pretty low on the harm scale.

  2. HSS is supporting our troops by starting us down a path where they will be subject to battering rams and dog shoots.

  3. HHS Approves Marijuana Study for Veterans With PTSD

    It’s not clear to me how forcing veterans to do medical research is going to help with the PTSD.

    1. uh what? I’m sure it’s voluntary.

      1. Why would PTSD suffering veterans volunteer to write tedious reports about marijuana users?

  4. “HHS Approves Marijuana Study for Veterans With PTSD”

    I assure you, given the pace of anything EITHER Federal-Health or US Military related, that by the time they will have fully tested, approved, and made available cannabis for veterans with PTSD…

    …we will have started another war, and the current veterans will already be dead.

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