Doing Research on Weed . . . Not

January 21, 2010
Posted by Jay Livingston

Todd Krohn at The Power Elite yesterday had a nice commentary on the lack of scientific research on marijuana – a post in which Todd manages to use a different soubriquet for the drug each time he mentions it (and I can think of several he didn’t get around to). Todd’s point is that Big Pharma is putting the kibosh on such research because there’s no profit in it for them. As California shows, even when marijuana is legal, the production and distribution remain decentralized.

A Times article about this on Tuesday (in the News section, not in the Science section) blamed the lack of research on the conflict between different wings of the federal government – medical/science vs. law enforcement:
Bureaucratic battles between the D.E.A. and the F.D.A. over the availability of narcotics — highly effective but addictive medicines — have gone on for decades.

Federal officials have repeatedly failed to act on marijuana research requests in a timely manner or have denied them, according to a 2007 ruling by an administrative law judge at the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Todd links to an article in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal. The headline asks, “Is Marijuana a Medicine?”

To answer that, we need research, and if f the Obama administration means what it said about taking science seriously, researchers may have some grants approved. But (as pot smokers say . . . not) don’t hold your breath. As the Times article puts it,

So medical marijuana may never have good science underlying its use.

And by the way, the online version of the WSJ had this image, which sort of jumped off the screen at me.

Oh wow, man. Like what a flashback. Was it just me, or was the WSJ deliberately trying to blow my mind?

Milton Glaser’s 1967 Dylan poster that came folded in the Greatest Hits LP. Groovy.


Arnie said...

A cinematic study of marijuana ala Howard Becker (1963):

Jay Livingston said...

Hey Arnie. Were Nicholson and Hopper really ever that young?

Arnie said...


We were all so much older then.....we're younger then that now!