His main focus is the effect of AIDS on the brain, but University of California, San Diego psychiatry professor Dr. Igor Grant rarely gets calls from the media about that topic. Instead, he hears from reporters who want to know about pot and pain.
Grant is director of the state-funded Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, which has spent 11 years and $8.7 million studying the use of marijuana to treat pain. It’s produced five studies suggesting that pot indeed has value as a painkiller and as a treatment for symptoms of multiple sclerosis; two more studies are due next year. A total of about 300 patients have taken part.
But now, the money is running out. As of next year, the center will exist in name only unless someone steps in to provide funding.