Often the argument you hear regarding anti-cannabis legalization proponents involves a lack of research. There isn’t enough scientific information available to decide whether marijuana legalization will inflict more harm or good. The catch-22, however, is that marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug limits any federal dollars flowing into fund studies at research institutions.
But Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced this week that eight medical schools—including the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Penn State College of Medicine—have been approved by the state to conduct medical marijuana research.
JJ Abbott, a spokesman for the governor revealed the schools were selected above other as Certified Research Centers by the state’s Department of Health.
“The goal here is to get the process started today so that these eight institutions can start looking at how medical marijuana helps patients, and hopefully it will lead to more and better outcomes for patients in the future,” Abbott told WESA FM.
Added Wolf: ““Pennsylvania’s premiere medical schools will be able to help shape the future of treatment for patients who are in desperate need not just here, but across the country.”
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School officials from Pitt said in a statement this program would be the first of its kind in the country. The schools will also be protected by state medical marijuana laws signed by Wolf in 2016 against any potential persecution from the notoriously anti-marijuana Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“Everything that these institutions will do going forward will be within the confines of state law, and they’ll be protected under state law to do that,” Abbott said.