Recent Articles

Recent Comments

« | Main | »

Marijuana research a pricey no-show

By Hempology | July 9, 2003

$10-million later, no studies have been done

From the Times Colonist, July 9, 2003

By Dennis Bueckert (The Canadian Press)

OTTAWA – Four years after former health minister Allan Rock announced a major
effort to assess the medical benefits of marijuana, nto a single study has been
completed and the whole research program is clouded with uncertainty.

Advocates of medical marijuana say the ogvernment has wasted millions of dollars
growing marijuana in a Flin Flon, Man., mine without making any of it available
to patients who need it, or to scientists for research purposes.

“Health Canada over four years has spent almost $10 million on its medical
marijuana program and has yet to supply a single gram or seed to a single sick
Canadian,” Philippe Lucas of Canadians for Safe Access, said Tuesday.

In March, Health Canada terminated funding to the Community Research Initiative
of Toronto, which was studying whether smoked marijuana can alleviate nausea
and weight loss experienced by many people living with AIDS.

The cut came just as the project was about to start enrolling volunteer research
subjects, said Derek Thaczuk, a spokesman for the Toronto group.

“Why they would choose to throw such a monkey wrench into such a major, pivotal
trial at this point is beyond my understanding,” said Thaczuk.

Health Canada spokeswoman Jirina Vlk refused to say why the funding was terminated,
but said research might continue with a new partner.

She would not comment on the government’s other marijuana research project, instead
referring questions to Mark Ware, project leader at the McGill University Pain

A McGill spokeswoman said Ware was unable to discuss the project, not even to say
whether clinical work had begun.

“He’s not able right now to talk about what’s going on with this research,”
Christina Zeindler said. “It’s due to the legislation that’s ongoing.”

The government has introduced legislation that would decriminalize possession
of small amounts of pot for personal use, but it’s not clear why that would affect
scientific research.

Topics: Articles | Comments Off

Comments are closed.