Washington stops cannabis research to save cash amid shutdown

Published Apr 24, 2020 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Borislav

Can cannabis help in the pandemic that the world is experiencing now? Can research of the cannabis plant be the answer to the devastating and deadly virus that has gripped our nation? Well, unfortunately, we may have to wait a bit longer for that answer. COVID-19 has spread its tentacles to Washington, and in the essence of saving money, cannabis research is officially on hold. At least for now, or so the governor of Washington claims.

The governor of Washington is serious about the shutdown because lives are in danger, and as such, Gov. Jay Inslee has fought to have a U.S. Army field hospital built at an Event Center. However, this will not happen. Monies can be spent elsewhere as with research money is being allocated to other communities that are cash strapped and who will be better served during this COVID-19 pandemic. Other cities will need this type of high-quality medicinal facility and staff to operate them.

Who is Jay Inslee?

The present governor of one of the first states to legalize cannabis is looked upon as a champion of his state’s legal cannabis market. He has defended cannabis against the federal government's consideration of a crackdown on marijuana. The governor of Washington spoke on the legalization of marijuana, stating that it was about time and that the endeavor should be taken on for nationwide legalization.

Initially, when the governor of Washington started his journey to the governor’s title, he was not a cannabis advocate. However, since 2012 he has been solidly supporting cannabis reforms. The  Governor of Washington is the first holding this title to offer pardons to several thousand people with marijuana charges.

Funding

Governor Jay Inslee is responsible for putting a hold on the $100,000 that has been earmarked for cannabis research in his state. The research money is to study cannabis impairment and how it may be associated with developing psychosis. The vetoed research monies were from the state general fund.

The funds were allocated for the Washington State University and the University of Washington to collaborate on cannabis research, policy, and the creation of frameworks for future studies. There have been specific themes allocated for the analysis, including:

  1. Public policy and safety - Roadside detection and workplace safety with cannabis use.

  2. Improving well-being and health - The impact of cannabis on brain development and the effects of THC and CBD on pain, and how marijuana affects mental health and stress.

  3. Agricultural Research - Industrial hemp is grown for CBD extract fibre and food in compliance with state and federal laws.

Research mandate

Explicitly the allocated budget was to explore:

  • Correlation ship in the age of the use of cannabis
  • Dosage use of cannabis
  • Any appearance of the occurrence of cannabis-induced psychosis

Who can help with donations?

Private individuals and companies who have no involvement with the Controlled Substance Act or CSA are permitted to donate. However, no monies will be accepted from cannabis-related businesses that distribute, manufacture, or dispense cannabis.

Two High Times magazines have suspended publication due to COVID19

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