(NaturalNews) Located in California, the Harborside Health Center is the primary supplier of medical cannabis in the United States. The plant's legal status is a major barrier to their business, and its legal status is held in place by the lack of research demonstrating its medical value. They provide 104,000 patients with medical marijuana as treatment for a variety of conditions. On a daily basis, they hear positive feedback from their patients, and want to take the initiative in bearing an authoritative witness to their experiences. They want to see the discussions change from one about criminality, to one about health science.
A barrier the entire length of the Atlantic
The propaganda from the era of Reagan's presidency has had surprisingly long lasting effect, with many scientists today still believing that even if cannabis isn't dangerous, it still isn't a miracle medicine that some people claim. Many believe that both sides of the argument had been based on over-zealous dogmatic belief. People who took a favourable view towards cannabis' use as a medicine were simply indulgent pot smokers who would come to any defense the plant needed. Unfortunately, this disparaging view of cannabis users makes it very easy to find reasons to dismiss their experiences. With the only suspicions of cannabis being of medical value coming from a questionable source, there is little pressure in the medical community for research into cannabis, and a great deal of other barriers to learning.
Sometimes the pursuit of knowledge is worth the extra effort
Fed-up with the ban of research, the Harborside Health Center has cast its lot in with the Beckley Foundation of the UK, where the federal restrictions of the United States cannot reach. With limited resources and sparse funding these two institutions are joining forces to research and document the experiences of Harborside Health Center's patients. Harborside Health Center itself is a powerful force in the movement, led by Director Steve DeAngelo, who opened the first laboratory that was specifically designed for doing testing on cannabis. He was also an early proponent of the use of cannabinoids as a medicine.
The long-awaited data
The study is currently ongoing, but when complete, will give researchers insight into a wide range of currently unavailable details about medical cannabis use. The results will generate a comparative examination of the efficacy of different species, strains, and THC levels in treating specific symptoms. It will also investigate the difference in impact that different routes of ingestion may have, and compare the impact of cannabis use to the pharmaceutical alternatives.
The Beckley Foundation is a hub that connects scientists across the globe to collaborate on important research, providing a venue for research to those facing barriers. They are carving themselves a niche as the leaders of cannabis research into its physiological effects. They are also active participants the legal discussion and continue to advise regulation strategies.
About the author: Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. In 2010, Michelle created RawFoodHealthWatch.com, to share with people her approach to the raw food diet and detoxification.
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