The promotion of Dr. Nora Volkow to celebrity status ‘is part of a public relations surge in which NIDA takes credit for acknowledging the medical potential of cannabis. Under Dr. Volkow’s enlightened direction NIDA has approved numerous research projects, and paid Mahmoud ElSohly to vastly expand his grow op at Ol’ Miss. A ripple of the surge has even reached federal patient Irvin Rosenfeld, who reports that the cigarettes he gets from NIDA have been upgraded from 3.3% THC to 4%.
In June 2015, Dr. Volkow testified before the U.S. Senate Drug Caucus about expediting research into CBD. Asked by Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey if “availability for research would be better if [marijuana production] was not a monopoly?” Volkow said, “Correct.” Read her testimony in the new O’Shaughnessy’s. It sheds light on NIDA’s revised political stance.
NIDA is the lead organizer of a conference coming up in March 2016, modestly entitled “Marijuana and Cannabinoids: a Neuroscience Research Summit.” Real experts will be explaining what is really known about the endocannabinoid system and the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids. The catch is: psychiatrists and neuroimagers will be given equal credibility as they reiterate that marijuana can be addictive and use by young people can cause detrimental changes in the brain.
What looks like a surge by NIDA is actually a retrenchment by the Drug Warriors who control federal policy. The Big Lie of “no medical use” has been exposed by more than a million Americans using cannabis (with physician approval) to alleviate a vast range of symptoms. So now they’re pushing the Fallback Lie, which is subtler and harder to refute: a 9% addiction rate and damage to the developing brain.
Go ahead, Nora, slam the door.