Thursday, September 20, 2007

Calling All Stoners

Call me crazy but I'm guessing the people at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale won't be getting the funding they want for this one.

"SIUC's smoking laboratory plans to request a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to help them find out why so many cigarette smokers also smoke marijuana, the lab's director David Gilbert said. If approved, Gilbert said the study - which would examine the effects of marijuana on human subjects - would likely begin in early 2009.

The marijuana study would be somewhat similar to the research the lab has done on nicotine, Gilbert said. Participants would smoke marijuana cigarettes obtained from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and researchers would monitor their brain activity with devices, including some that track eye movement and brainwaves, he said.

Before the study can be done on human subjects, the project must be submitted to the university's Human Subjects Committee, Martens said. The committee is designed to ensure research on human subjects is ethical and moral."

Hmmm, ethical and moral are you kidding me with that one?!

I read that they want to submit 64 people to this study and have it span upwards to three years. Something tells me the people who came up with this idea must have surely toked a few themselves and were still feeling the effects when they thought it would be cool to propose this idea.

I mean come on. How can it be considered moral and ethical to introduce a highly addictive controlled substance to individuals and then after the study is over expect them to not suffer from the effects all in the name of research?

Plus, lets hope they aren't planning on getting kids from campus that are actually planning on getting a degree (or doing pretty much anything productive) within those three or so years. Because first of all just the short-term effects of marijuana use include problems with memory and learning; distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch); difficulty in thinking and problem solving; loss of coordination; and increased heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks. How'd you like to sit next to these kids during a lecture?!!

I would think they would have to recruit "seasoned" stoners to avoid an ethical issue right from the start. Can you seriously introduce someone who has never smoked before to this study? I wouldn't think so. Sorry but this just blows my mind they are seriously considering this as a research study.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall watching all the willing participants signing up for this one. Woodstock anyone? Hope the researchers ask for plenty of extra money for Doritos and Twinkies because they're going to need a munchies stipend for sure!

My money is riding on the fact that whoever makes the funding decision about this will puff puff pass on it and this little study will never see the light of day.

Now if Honah Lee State University had cooked up this idea they just might have gotten away with it no questions asked!

What are your thoughts?

And by the way, Honah Lee State University, I made that one up.