Current research about cannabis falls into one of two categories. There’s the category of research that remains stalled and the category focused more on the harms of the drug than anything else. Marijuana researchers are faced with having to get funding from federal agencies, which is a problem considering marijuana remains illegal on the federal level. Doing research on the harms of marijuana is much easier considering the power that weed opponents yield in the fight to keep it illegal. The battle between states where marijuana is legal and federal agencies that have to abide by the fact that it’s illegal at their level rages on.
Reinforcing the Need for Research
Since marijuana languished as a forbidden substance for so long, the people who were using the drug were hiding in the shadows of society. Their use of this drug came at their risk with the potential legal ramifications and exposure to tainted substances running rampant. The fact remains that federal opposition to the legalization of marijuana is irrelevant. With each passing election cycle, more states find themselves in the category of legalizing weed once and for all. This increase in users also increases the potential for problems to arise that extensive research could easily address.
Getting Agencies to Reconsider
Federal agencies have to realize that the fact that marijuana is illegal at the federal level doesn’t take away from the fact that they represent everyone in this country. Their refusal to grant research for weed-related projects puts the welfare of millions of people in jeopardy. New products are being introduced in weed legal states all the time. It would be good to know if these products are beneficial to the people who are buying them or if they need to be pulled from the shelves immediately. An exception needs to be granted to weed researchers who are conducting their research in weed legal states.
Establishing Rigorous Testing Protocols
In industries where products have been legal for many decades, the threshold companies have to meet in order for their products to be introduced into the marketplace is high. The same standards should be applied to the marijuana industry. Any product that’s about to be put out in weed legal states should have to be subjected to several tests. These tests could have prevented recent outbreaks in lung disease stemming from tainted weed vaping products that legally ambiguous entities were able to slip under the door. Weed is on its way to becoming a mainstay product. It’s about time it starts being treated that way.
Finding Alternative Funding Sources
Anytime funding dries up for scientific pursuits the quest begins for alternative funding sources. Weed related businesses should band together to fund weed research projects. Findings from these projects could be beneficial in the fight towards loosening restrictions and adding more states to the weed legal column. Plus, with the understanding that their local dispensary is working in conjunction with researchers, customers would be given the peace of mind knowing their needs matter. States in which weed is legal could also fund research using tax revenue from marijuana sales.