The White House today gave a green light to a growing group of scientists who are interested in investigating the potential health benefits of cannabis. Research like this will no longer have to undergo review by the Public Health Service, a process that is supposed to ensure the use of scientifically valid clinical trials, but in practice has served as a barrier to launching studies. A bipartisan group of lawmakers, and even opponents of legalization, had called for the requirement to be lifted..
“This announcement is a pretty big deal,” says Christopher Brown, a spokesperson for Americans for Safe Access, a group that advocates for access to pot for medical research. “You have a lot of interest in experimental research on medical cannabis and this shows that you are starting to see policies aligned with that.”
US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy discussed the federal government’s shifting thinking on medical pot, telling CBS This Morning that preliminary data shows that “marijuana can be helpful” for some medical conditions.