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Marijuana study receives federal stimulus money

By Balzafire, Aug 6, 2010 | Updated: Aug 6, 2010 | | |
  1. Balzafire
    First Ever Federal Grant to Study Combination of Cannabinoids/Morphine for pain reduction

    VANCOUVER – A WSU Vancouver research project analyzing the use of marijuana in conjunction with medications like morophine to control pain has received $148,438 from the National Institutes of Health.

    The two-year grant to Psychology Professor Michael Morgan will focus on "Neural Mechanisms for Enhanced Cannabinoid/Opioid Antinociception." The grant is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

    The research examines whether administration of cannabinoids, a.k.a marijuana, in conjunction with antipain medications such as morphine, provides better pain relief than either drug alone. This research could be especially relevant for patients suffering with severe or chronic pain.

    Morgan’s research was awarded $74,750 from the ARRA on May 15 and qualifies to receive matching funds for the second year of his research.

    This is the first ARRA funding received by WSU. Morgan’s project is uniquely qualified to receive these funds because of its potential to stimulate the economy and create or retain jobs within the community. ARRA also stipulates that this particular project will make scientific progress in two years.

    “This research is innovative in the field. Currently there are no other projects that are studying this chemical relationship using these parameters,” said Morgan.

    Phase one is already underway, and Morgan projects starting phase two as early as January 2010.

    WSU Vancouver
    August 05, 2010


  1. Balzafire
    [h1]In rush to ridicule stimulus bill, Rossi slams research at WSU Vancouver[/h1]
    Usually, politicians like to promote the research being conducted at their local universities.

    But Republican Dino Rossi is accusing a professor at Washington State University's Vancouver campus of conducting "one of those boondoggle projects" involving federal stimulus money.

    Michael Morgan, a pyschology professor at WSU Vancouver, received a $148,438 federal grant to study the interaction of opioids and cannabinoids to see if it could produce more effective pain relief. Morgan said he is seeing some evidence that combining the two drugs can increase the effectiveness of such opiates as morphine.

    What seemed to catch Rossi's eye, however, is that cannabinoids are the active ingredients in marijuana.

    "Washington state taxpayers are tired of their money going up in smoke," Rossi said in a press release Thursday. "This bill isn't going to stimulate anything other than the sale of Cheetos."

    Morgan said Thursday that his research first came under fire a year ago when Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., released a list of 100 stimulus-funded projects the senator regarded as wasteful.

    Morgan said nobody from Coburn's staff contacted him before issuing the list - and he didn't get any response when he sent the senator information about his work.

    Likewise, he said, nobody from Rossi's campaign for the U.S. Senate contacted him to discuss his research. He noted that his work was reviewed by scientists working with the National Institutes of Health and said it is "odd that Rossi thinks he knows more about good research than these neuroscientists."

    No one from the Rossi campaign could be reached for comment Thursday evening. Rossi, it should be noted, was recently endorsed by Coburn.

    Morgan said he is "dumbfounded" that he is being attacked for a $150,000 study aimed at making progress in the management of pain, which one study estimates costs U.S. employers $80 billion a year in sick days and lost productivity.

    "There are millions of Americans suffering from chronic pain," Morgan said. "Is Rossi arguing that we should not do research to find better ways to reduce this suffering?"

    And as a topper, Morgan said he actually is creating jobs. He said he uses the money to help pay his salary, as well as wages for a graduate student and a recent WSU grad who is also helping out in the lab.

    Morgan said his research doesn't involve any pot smoking. Instead part of it involves dosing rats with a synthetic cannabinoid. But any connection with marijuana is enough to bring out the stoner jokes and make it all sound like a waste of taxpayer money.

    Jeff Mapes, The Oregonian
    Thursday, August 12, 2010
  2. EscapeDummy
    Going up in... smoke? Sale of cheetos? Great stuff right here, I approve.

    But seriously, this guy is pretty ignorant; clearly he has no understanding of neurology/chemical receptors, or how stimulation of anandamide receptors might decrease pain.
  3. Kiddycrack
    SWIM doesn't understand why the government is fighting this so hard. All the proof that they need is right in front of them, there are more dangerous things that people do everyday. Any amount of pollution anyone breaths in everyday is worse then any marijuana smoke.
  4. Balzafire
    Senate Candidate Forced to Backtrack After Tasteless Medical Marijuana Jokes

    [imgl=white]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=16255&stc=1&d=1281991103[/imgl]Washington, D.C.--(ENEWSPF)--August 16, 2010. In the latest example of a changing political atmosphere surrounding marijuana issues, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Washington state has been forced to clarify a series of cliché jokes his office made at the expense of medical marijuana research and patients.

    Last week, Republican Dino Rossi issued an extremely immature and thoughtless press release criticizing federally funded research being conducted at Washington State University into marijuana’s effect on pain medication. The two-year study by psychology professor Michael Morgan involves injecting rats with synthetic cannabinoids and opiates in order to find ways to improve treatment for people suffering from chronic pain.

    Rather than emphasize the great need for this type of research, as well as the proven efficacy of marijuana in helping to manage pain, Rossi decided to revert to hackneyed and unoriginal middle-school level humor. “Washington state taxpayers are tired of their money going up in smoke,” read the release issued by his office. “This bill isn’t going to stimulate anything other than sales of Cheetos.”

    Morgan, who received $148,438 in federal stimulus funds from the National Institutes of Heath, defended his research in an email to the Seattle Post Intelligencer:

    “It is odd that Rossi thinks he knows more about good research than these neuroscientists. The goal of stimulus funds going to research was to create jobs and advance research to improve health care. Contrary to what Rossi’s press release says, I have created jobs. I funded both a graduate and undergraduate student with the $50,000 that I receive each year. It also provided a month of summer salary for me given that the State does not pay professors in the summer. The undergraduate I am currently funding actually graduated in May and would be unemployed if I did not offer her a job,” Morgan wrote.

    He said pain treatments cost billions of dollars each year.

    “…what we proposed has nothing to do with smoking marijuana or what Rossi implies. It would have been nice if Rossi had checked his facts before trashing research that could be very beneficial. There are millions of Americans suffering from chronic pain. Is Rossi arguing that we should not do research to find better ways to reduce this suffering?”

    One day later, a spokesperson for Rossi was put on the defensive, and tried to backtrack by saying “no judgment was made [by the campaign] on the validity of the research.”

    This last development is important for one major reason: After years of being considered a third-rail issue that politicians were free to scorn, more candidates and officials are now waking to the reality that marijuana reform issues—and medical marijuana in particular—are very, very popular among voters. As the Rossi campaign has discovered, the most controversial thing about medical marijuana nowadays can be opposing it. Nationally, 81 percent of Americans support medical marijuana.

    In another interesting aside, Steve Elliot points out that Rossi this year earned distinction as one of the 11 Most Crooked Candidates in the entire nation, according to a list put together by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

    Source: mpp.org
    Mike Meno
    16 August 2010
  5. FreeBliss
    allot of money but i guess a step in the right direction. I think it would be better for patients to use marijuana with a pain killer if that helps rather then upping the pain killer dose or going to a stronger kind.
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