What a change in DEA’s pot rules might mean for medical research

TUESDAY, May 10, 2016 — Most doctors approach medical marijuana with a great deal of uncertainty, because drug laws have hindered researchers’ ability to figure out what pot can and can’t do for sick patients.

That could soon change.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is weighing whether to loosen its classification of marijuana, which would remove many restrictions on its use in medical research.

If that occurs, doctors could start getting answers to the questions they regularly receive from patients regarding marijuana’s clinical benefits.

“I am asked as a practicing doctor even in a rural area about medical marijuana use, and I want to make sure I can give patients advice that’s evidence-based,” said Dr. Robert Wergin, board chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “We need those kinds of studies to help us give informed advice to our patients who ask about it now,” he explained.

The DEA has said

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