STAT

Opinion: Cash from cannabis companies creates conflicted researchers

Academic researchers who seek or receive funds from the cannabis industry should trigger an ethics scandal, as it has done for alcohol research, not a press release.

Imagine that scientists charged with doing research on tobacco’s health implications were funded by tobacco companies. (In fact, the tobacco industry used this tactic for decades to cast doubt on the adverse health effects of smoking.) But today it would be an outrageous conflict of interest — research on addictive drugs shouldn’t be paid for by people who stand to profit from selling them. Yet this is exactly what is happening with cannabis.

Contrary to , cannabis is an addictive drug with several . As is the case with every such drug, not all people who use it become addicted to it. In fact, most don’t. But it does lead to addiction in a subset of people. Cannabis use disorder is a diagnosable condition that is estimated to affect around in the United States, or around . It’s a have cannabis use disorder.

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