Featured Media Resource: Is Marijuana Actually Medicinal? (Above the Noise/KQED)
Host Myles Bess clears the smoke on medical marijuana research and gets into the weeds explaining some of the barriers to studying it.
ABOVE THE NOISE, a new YouTube series from KQED, follows young journalists as they investigate real world issues that impact young people’s lives. These short videos prompt critical thinking with middle and high school students to spark civic engagement. Join hosts Myles Bess and Shirin Ghaffary for new episodes published every Wednesday on YouTube.
Medicinal Marijuana and Federal Law
With the results of the 2016 election, use of medical marijuana is now approved in 28 states, plus Washington, D.C., but the plant itself is not approved as medicine by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It still remains federally illegal. Under the Controlled Substances Act, the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug – which is a category reserved for the most dangerous drugs and those that don’t show any medical benefit. This classification makes it difficult for researchers to study, because drugs in this category are very tightly regulated. In 2011, two state governors petitioned federal agencies to reclassify marijuana to a less restrictive category– one that acknowledges its medical benefits. In August of 2016, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reconfirmed marijuana’s listing as a Schedule I drug, but are loosening some of the barriers for researchers wanting to study it.
So what does the science say? Are there actually any medical benefits to marijuana? Turns out, the answer is a bit more complicated than you may think.
Based on the science, how do you think the government should handle medical marijuana?
Based on the science, how do you think the government should handle medical marijuana? Why? #DoNowMedicalMarijuana
How to Do Now
Do Now by posting a video response in this week’s Flipgrid.
You can also post your response on Twitter or in the comment section below. Be sure to include #DoNowMedicalMarijuana in your tweet.
REPORT: FDA Regulation of Marijuana: Past Actions, Future Plans (FDA.gov)
REPORT: Blurred Boundaries: The Therapeutics and Politics of Medical Marijuana (Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic)