I am a Medical Doctor who has transitioned from Denver Health Emergency Department to Doc Morrison seeing patients about Medical Marijuana. I have been doing this since 2013 coming up on 5 years. I would like to explain an experience I had recently which reveals a problem regarding Researching Medical Marijuana.
In academic medicine I enjoyed asking questions and participating in studies that went to find truth regarding those questions. The Idea is to find practices which improve the quality of life for patients.
I was caught surprised when a significant research project from the University of Colorado approached my business Doc Morrison with a chance to house their study. I can not tell you how excited I was.
The study is looking at the idea of MMJ tolerance. It was to have one group of people who had not used MMJ frequently and one group of people who use MMJ frequently and have them drive in a simulator before and after smoking MMJ and then compare the groups. Some believe MMJ tolerance means that driving is not effected adversely by using MMJ after you have been using it for a prolonged time. No one nows the truth.
The reason I was so excited was because this begins to look past preconceived notions in any direction and tries to find truth. This was an opportunity for off duty officers to evaluate people before & after using MMJ ultimately potentially contributing to a Roadside test used in the U.S. to determine if a subject is intoxicated. The study is legitimate. The best funding available in the U.S. Grant Funding from the State of Colorado from MMJ taxes. Quality researchers from the University of Colorado Denver. I don't believe that there is any Federal funding of research for MMJ. This makes this State funded research some of the first in the United States.
So why did Wheat Ridge say No? There was a recent discussion in City Council as this was explained to me. The discussion decided there would be NO CLINICAL STUDIES in the City of Wheat Ridge. As it was explained to me it would now be difficult to get changed because it was such a recent conversation in Council.
The driving CU study has found a home in Aurora. That study has sailed but I would like to discuss what the concerns with clinical studies are & see if there is a way to do address those concerns & be open to studies in the future within the City limits of Wheat Ridge. I can only guess of what those concerns would be having not been involved in those discussions. I own the building & have a strong desire to participate in research. I would love to start a conversation to address any and all concerns.
I grew up here in Colorado and one side of my cousins were Farmers from Wheat Ridge High School. My experience with MMJ here in Colorado has led me to believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe I found this building in Wheat Ridge because of the farming traditions of the Wheat Ridge blending with the plant/crop foundation of the MMJ industry.
The University of Colorado Denver driving study must have been told by Denver they couldn't do the study in Denver. I have never heard those discussions. Wheat Ridge could have taken the torch from Denver and begun what could be real MMJ research. I am going to use this to reach out to all of the City Council members on the Wheat Ridge City Council. I have been told that I can get this brought up for discussion again if I can get 2 council members to agree to a discussion.
Hearing that Wheat Ridge said no to the possibility of any research even from the highest levels available here in Colorado and maybe in the U.S. was the most disappointing news I have heard since starting Doc Morrison.
I believe I have been a great business addition to Wheat Ridge over the past 5 years. I think we have done a great job of navigating uncharted regions working well with the City, taking excellent care of our Patients & being good neighbors.
The world is a complicated place. I want to use my good standing to respectfully ask the City Council of Wheat Ridge to re-open the discussion on research. I would be willing to help moving forward to find out what kind of research would be more or less possible. I believe MMJ is helping the 3,000+ Patients a year I am directly seeing. We need to look now at so many aspects of using MMJ. It seems disingenuous to take significant tax money for people using Marijuana and completely block all avenues to research acute and chronic questions regarding MMJ.
Lets be genuine. Lets start looking at MMJ with real questions & real research. I heard the research went to Aurora. We missed that one. There will be more. Lets re-open the discussion on research.
Peter Pryor MD MPH