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The National Institute for Drug Abuse Admits Marijuana Has Medical Benefits

The agency’s official tone has finally changed from skeptical to rational.

by Zach Harris

Since Trump took office three months ago, the federal government’s stance on marijuana seems to harken back to the ridiculous era of “reefer madness.”  But while Sessions, Spicer, and the rest of the not-so-merry band of loons continue to equate cannabis use with opioid addiction, one federal agency has finally come to their senses. The National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) has finally admitted that marijuana has medical benefits.

The NIDA’s website has had a section on medical marijuana for years, but until recently the header of that page simply read “Is Marijuana Medicine?” That particular question left much room for skepticism and denial about the medical benefits of cannabis, which only further pushed the government’s prohibitory mindset.

But while the federal government’s position has taken an even harder line on the prospect of cannabis law reform, Chris Roberts over at High Times noticed that NIDA is swimming upstream, and has removed the “Is Marijuana Medicine?” header and replaced it with the slogan “Marijuana as Medicine.”  The new title pulls no punches in finally admitting that medical marijuana is indeed very real. 

In addition to the new header, the institute also changed the medical marijuana page of their website even further, expanding the name of the CBD section to include childhood epilepsy. Other changes include a warning to pregnant women about inconclusive data related to prenatal cannabis use and a section on the dangers of synthetic marijuana.

Unfortunately, the details on the NIDA webpage haven’t been updated enough to fully support legalizing medical cannabis nationwide, or even to push for a reasonable government program that can actually produce usable weed.

However, the change in language is indicative of a move in the right direction for a federal government that has shown little understanding about what cannabis can medically accomplish. 


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Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.



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