Smart Talk: Marijuana’s place in health care

Penn State College of Medicine and PA Options for Wellness are partnering to research medical marijuana.

  • Merideth Bucher/WITF

The possibility of legalizing marijuana has been a hotly debated topic across Pennsylvania.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman traveled the state this year on a listening tour to gather input about recreational legalization. Gov. Tom Wolf said in December state legislators must take a serious look at the possibility of recreational legalization.

But with little research on the drug, people are hesitant to get on board with even the now-legal medical marijuana use. A new partnership aims to change that. 

Penn State College of Medicine announced in June a collaboration with PA Options for Wellness for medical marijuana research. The goal of the partnership is to develop a medical model focused on the patient, research, outcomes, compliance and quality of life.

Penn State College of Medicine and PA Options for Wellness will work together to investigate the potential benefits and risks of using marijuana extracts to treat a variety of health issues.

Dr. Kent Vrana of the Penn State Department of Pharmacology and Tom Trite, president and CEO of PA Options for Wellness, joined Smart Talk to discuss the marijuana research partnership and findings.

Key points:

4:00 – Hesitations to get on board with legal medical marijuana

7:05 – FDA can’t easily regulate marijuana

11:10 – Medical marijuana is different than what people use to get high

14:05 – Marijuana vs. opioids

15:40 – Possibility of addiction with medical marijuana?

17:05 – Analyzing PA’s medical marijuana law

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