With the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) continues to place marijuana under schedule 1 of the Control Substance Act (CSA), preventing and practically halting the official scientific research to carry on the plant. DEA perpetuate in its arrogance and adamant to its old position that marijuana has high abuse potential; no medical use; severe safety concerns; and that there is no available scientific research to prove otherwise.
To dent its arrogance and ignorance, certified professional bodies are coming up with the scientific evidence revealing the ever increasing details on the medical efficacy of the plant.
This scientific development coincides with DEA continues turning down petitions requesting that marijuana be removed from schedule 1 of the CSA. The removal would end the ban to carry out scientific research on the plant across the United States.
It seems the federal body neither bothers public sentiment nor values scientific research to declare marijuana a CSA Schedule 1 substance.
This perpetuated display of arrogance angered some Washington state officials, who announced, defying DAE, they will issue licenses to labs to grow marijuana for scientific purposes.
The scientific research, that DEA turned a deaf ear to, includes a recent study by two researchers from the University of Georgia that shed more light on the medicinal and economic benefits of marijuana. The study that appeared in the journal Health Affairs revealed hefty savings in public health care costs due to legalizing marijuana. According to the figures, in 2013 alone legalizing marijuana in the United States saved $165.2 million in medical care costs.
To strengthen the growing body of evidence of marijuana’s medical efficacy, a medical society in Illinois – the American Epilepsy Society (AES) has announced the details of a study it supervised. According to results, marijuana is found to be an effective cure of seizures especially in children. The AES accepted the study in its online journal.
The AES announced the findings of this study at its annual meeting. It was described as one of the largest ever study showing prowess of marijuana to cure epileptic seizures.
According to statistics, epilepsy affects one in 26 Americans during their life time. Among victims one third are said to be having a condition that resists treatment or effective management. Particularly, children and young adults are prone to the effects of this debilitating condition. The findings of the study provide fresh evidence that cannabidiol (CBD) a non-psychoactive extract of cannabis can provide the best option to address treatment-resistant epilepsy.
The study involves 261 participants who are given CBD treatment. The results showed 45% of participants experienced a significant reduction in seizure frequency, with 9% seizure-free just in three months of CBD administered. According to the researcher, some children experienced benefits even after one year of the trial.
Lead author of the study, Dr. Orrin Devinsky, commented, “In the subsequent periods, which are very encouraging, 9 percent of all patients and 13 percent of those with Dravet Syndrome epilepsy were seizure-free. Many have never been seizure-free before”.
With ever increasing body of scientific evidence it is no longer possible to keep denying the medical benefits of marijuana including treating seizures. Many observers in US believe it is time federal government and DAE should lift ban on marijuana paving the way for more scientific research to be conducted on the plant.
Bolstering the voices that demand marijuana prohibition to end, Dr Devinsky added, “As a practitioner, I have had families move to Colorado, and many tried multiple different products. As a doctor, I often don’t feel like I know which of many factors is contributing to a patient doing better or worse. We absolutely need rigorous, scientific data on this”.