Piomelli speaks before Senate subcommittee about medical benefits, risks of marijuana
With the medicinal use of cannabis gaining increased attention, UCI scientist Daniele Piomelli, who studies natural marijuana-like compounds in the body and their effect on health, spoke before a Senate subcommittee July 13 about the potential medical benefits and risks of the product. The meeting of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime & Terrorism focused on the use of marijuana compounds in the treatment of disease, changing the classification of marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug, and the impact of marijuana on the adolescent brain. Piomelli, the Louise Turner Arnold Chair in the Neurosciences, is one of the world’s leading researchers on the body’s endocannabinoid system, and his investigations are uncovering novel therapeutics for pain treatment, anxiety and obesity. Piomelli’s work is regularly funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In 2010, he received NIDA’s first Avant-Garde Award for Innovative Medication Development Research, and he has served on the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse. “I appreciate the opportunity to speak before this Senate committee about such an important medical topic,” Piomelli said. “Cannabis has potentially great medicinal benefits, but so much more needs to be learned about its safe and effective use. These discussions with our lawmakers are important steps in the right direction.” A video of the hearing is available at http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/meetings/researching-the-potential-medical-benefits-and-risks-of-marijuana.