8 Factor Analysis

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KEY QUESTIONS (paraphrased):
Sen. Graham
Q1. Is there enough information now to go from schedule 1 to schedule 2?
An. Dr. Weiss: That’s is something still being considered by the FDA’s 8 factor analysis. What I would state is that we still do not have the clinical trials to determine that marijuana is ready for any indication by the FDA. What we are interested in, is expediting the research process, whether that be changing the schedule or streamlining the process within the schedule 1 process that we have now.
An. Dr. Throckmorton: I’d agree with Dr. Weiss, we don’t know enough about the specific compounds of marijuana to make a judgement call on that. What we do need is further research to be able to do so in the future.
Q2. Do you think
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Dr. Piomelli: It does, very much so. That’s one of the problems facing marijuana and its products can be dramatically different, depending on the route of administration. While some cause an instant hit to the brain, others affect people in a more gradual way, which can be more easily monitored.

Sen.Whitehouse
Q1. What do you believe would be the practical results of rescheduling from a research perspective and an abuse perspective?
An. Dr. Weiss: From a research perspective it would be helpful. For abuse, it would depend; if it were made legal without regulation through the FDA, which is the current case, then it would still be illegal for abuse and to use. However, the message given to people around the country, regardless of what the FDA’s recommendation, would be that the drug has a medical use.
An. Dr. Throckmorton: There are two things that people have remarked would change with a rescheduling. One would be that there are registration requirements that are in place for schedule 1 drugs that would go away. Two, there is a perception that because marijuana is schedule 1 that it is less attractive for research, so changing that perception could be effective to progress our education on the benefits and dangers of cannabis.

Sen.
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Dr. Weiss: I don’t think there’s a clear answer to that. I think we are very concerned about some of the states with very liberal policies about medical marijuana, California is an example. There the average medical marijuana user is a thirty-five-year-old male with lower back pain. That may be very different from what you all have in Minnesota. The main point being still talking about products that are not regulated, and what the appropriate dosage may be for some of these products. This is a concern for patients using this type of treatment.
Q2 What do you all think would be the most effective step to expanding medical research?
An. Dr.Weiss: Apart from the general need for more funding, I think there are ways to streamline the research process so that investigators are not as hesitant to take up the challenge. One thing that the NIH did this past year was hold a summit, to show that NIH is supportive of research not only into the harmful effects or marijuana, but also the therapeutic effects.
Q3: So how do our laws compare to other countries? Are there other countries doing research that could help

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