They said as more states embrace legalized marijuana, the drug’s growing medicinal use has highlighted a disturbing fact for doctors: scant research exists to support marijuana’s health benefits.
They also said smoked, eaten or brewed as a tea, marijuana has been used as a medication for centuries, including in the U.S., where Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) sold it until 1915. The drug was declared illegal in 1937. Though its long history has provided ample anecdotal evidence of the plants potential medicinal use. Still, modern scientific studies are lacking.
The federal government is scaling back it's research funding. The U.S. has droped their fuding by 31% since 2007 and had peaked at $131 million, according to a National Institutes of health research database. Last year, 235 projects received $91 million of public funds, according to NIH data.
Donald Vereen, a former adviser to the last three directors of the National Institute on Drug Abuse said "what is happening in the United States is not related to science at all."
Two states, Washington and Colorado, have fully leagalized the drug, 18 states allow its use for medical reasons and 17, including New York, have legislation pending to legalize it.
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