Univer­sity of Michi­gan Re­searchers To Study Use Of Med­i­cal Mar­i­juana

Wellness Update - - Contents -

“With the on­go­ing pol­icy de­bate and the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of med­i­cal mar­i­juana pro­grams in the United States, it is es­sen­tial to un­der­stand the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of med­i­cal mar­i­juana use for in­di­vid­u­als who seek ac­cess to it,” says study leader Mark Il­gen, Ph.D., an ex­pe­ri­enced re­searcher on topics re­lated to sub­stance use and abuse. “We hope that with this study can help in­form the de­bate.” A psy­chol­o­gist who has stud­ied sub­stance use and abuse for 10 years, Il­gen is an as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor in the U-M Depart­ment of Psy­chi­a­try and the prin­ci­pal in­ves­ti­ga­tor on the new grant. “Mar­i­juana is the most fre­quently used drug in the na­tion, and has been le­gal­ized for med­i­cal use in many ways, yet we have very lit­tle un­der­stand­ing of how in­di­vid­u­als us­ing med­i­cal mar­i­juana do over time,” says Fred­eric Blow, Ph.D., a co-in­ves­ti­ga­tor on the study and ex­pe­ri­enced sub­stance abuse re­searcher who di­rects the Men­tal Health Ser­vices Out­comes & Trans­la­tion Sec­tion at the U-M Med­i­cal School. “We hope this study will help pro­vide much-needed data on the char­ac­ter­is­tics of those who seek med­i­cal mar­i­juana, and the longert­erm im­pact on their health and lives.” Across the coun­try, pa­tients use mar­i­juana in hopes that it will ease the symp­toms of con­di­tions such as can­cer, seizures, glau­coma and pain. Twenty states and the Dis­trict of Columbia have made this use le­gal – in­clud­ing Michi­gan, where more than 135,000 pa­tients are now in a four-year-old statewide reg­istry of ap­proved med­i­cal mar­i­juana users.

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