In an unprecedented move, Washington State’s Attorney General’s office has given an $110,000 grant to the University of Washington, which they will utilize to train healthcare professionals on the scientifically-proven benefits of medical cannabis.
The grant will go to the university’s Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute; the institute will use the funding to train doctors, nurses, naturopaths and other healthcare providers on how to use cannabis in a way that scientific research supports, according to the Seattle Weekly.
“We are strongly committed to the science [of medical cannabis].” says university scientist Dr. Beatriz Carlini, who’s heading the study. Carlini points to a recent study pubished by the Clinical Journal of Pain: the study examined 38 randomized controlled trials, and concluded that 71% of participants found cannabis to have “statistically significant pain-relieving effects.” Carlini also points to the hypocrisy of the U.S. government having legalized Marinol – a substance which attempts to mimic the beneficial effects of THC – while retaining the actual cannabis plant as a schedule 1 controlled substance.
According to Carlini, the first task of the project is to do a survey of healthcare professionals asking their opinions, and knowledge, of medical cannabis. She believes, despite the 15 years that have passed since voters legalized medical cannabis, healthcare providers remain “afraid, confused and not informed.” This widespread confusion exemplifies the need for this type of program, and we applaud the state’s attorney general for funding it.