Ignorance is not bliss for Harborside Health Center of Oakland, CA, who, in their pursuit of knowledge, have circumvented the Federal ban (under the Controlled Substances Act) on scientific research into the medical benefits of Cannabis that have stymied the reasoned refutation of the many arguments put forward in support of the continued illegality of the plants cultivation and use. Seeing that the frequency of scientific studies proving the medical benefits of Cannabis have been on the increase of late Harborside Health have initiated a study to help move the conversation away from the well-worn groove of hysterical demonisation and instead are seeking to leverage the direct experience of hundreds of thousands of patients to form a comprehensive set of data regarding their experience of using Cannabis for treating specific medical conditions and symptoms.
Their, perhaps unlikely, cohorts in this mission are based not on the American continent but on a small island on the West coast of Europe - Great Britain. The Beckley Foundation have been given the job of designing an in depth patient survey which, once complete, is to be reviewed and analysed by professors at University College London, associated with the social and legal reformer, writer and philosopher Jeremy Bentham, recognised by the college as its "spiritual founder".
“The federal government’s continued assertion that cannabis has no medical use—which study after study has shown not to be true—has made it nearly impossible to conduct the kinds of careful scientific studies we would like to perform in order to best serve the 104,000 patients who rely on us to treat an incredibly wide range of ailments,” says Steve DeAngelo, the Executive Director of Harborside. “Fortunately, we have found enthusiastic partners at the Beckley Foundation who are as eager to see the results as we are.”
The study was designed by Dr. David Schwartzman, of the Beckley Foundation, and Jennifer Janichek, MA, of Harborside’s Substance Use & Misuse Clinical Services Program. It was reviewed by Lady Amanda Feilding, founder of the Beckley Foundation; Steve DeAngelo of Harborside; and Prof. Valery Curran, from University College London’s Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit.
The Beckley Foundation is the leading UK think tank that promotes the scientific investigation of consciousness and its modulation from a multidisciplinary perspective, and the reform of global drug policy in order to reflect a more rational, evidence-based, cost-effective approach that shifts the emphasis from criminalization to health and human rights.