Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
8 FEDERAL SUPPORT OF RESEARCH ON MARIJUANA PRESENT SOURCES AND AMOUNTS OF SUPPORT In this chapter the committee has examined sources and amounts of federal support for research on cannabis and the areas of research support. The committee has not analyzed the scientific substance of the work, nor has it examined the strategy of research support or reviewed current unpublished research. The overall federal support for research on cannabis for the fiscal years l977, l978, and l979 has averaged slightly more than $4 million per year in real dollars (Table 4). During these years, ll federal agencies allocated funds for this purpose. Of these, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has been the principal agency, accounting for over four-fifths of the total, therefore, our analysis will focus primarily on this agency. For fiscal years l975 through l980, NIDA's support of research on cannabis amounted to $4.5, $2.9, $3.9, $3.6, $3.5, and $3.8 million, respectively, in real dollars, but in constant l98l dollars, corrected by the GNP deflator, the same figures were $7.0, $4.2, $5.4 $4.6, 34.2, and $4.l (Table 5). Although the total research budget of this agency for those years increased by approximately $l2 million (real dollars), the percent spent on cannabis declined from l4.2 to 8.2 (Table 5). During the same period, the total number of projects on cannabis supported by NIDA was reduced by approximately 50 percent; however, the cost per project increased from $42,700 to $7l,400 (real dollars). This increased cost per project is still somewhat lower than the mean cost of all projects funded by the National Institutes of Health in l980 (Leventhal, l98l). Table 6 shows the NIDA extramural research programs for fiscal years l975 through l98l, allocated according to the type of drug being studied. In FY l975 research on cannabis was allocated only l3 percent of the total extramural budget, whereas narcotics and narcotic antagonists received more than 40 percent. Thereafter, the percentage devoted to cannabis declined, to a low of 8 percent in FY l979, but started to rise again slightly in FY l980 and FY l98l. In the last year, an estimated ll percent of the budget was spent on cannabis research. The percent of the budget allocated to narcotics and narcotic antagonists has declined steadily, while the percentages l56
l57 TABLE 4 Cannabis Research by Federal Agency: FY l977-l979 (real dollars in thousands) Total (77) Total (78) Total (79) No. of No. of No. of grants Funds Percent grants Funds Percent grants Funds Percent ADAMHJ& NIDA 75 3,940 90 64 3,596 88 65 3,536 84 NIMH 8 167 4 8 214 5 7 207 5 NIAAA 2 8 1 5 85 2 6 l22 3 NIH NCI 4 9l 2 2 80 2 2 85 2 NEI -- â 0 3 68 2 l 36 1 NICHD â â 0 l l3 3. 1 l5 1 NIRR ~ â 0 2 26 0 â â 0 NIGMS â â 0 â â 0 1 93 OTHER AGENCIES VA 7 52 l 6 26 1 8 25 l DOT 5 55 l l â 1 2 104 2 USDA l 4l l - â 0 1 85 2 TOTAL l02 4,354 92 4,106 94 4,202 -less than l percent. b ADAHHA Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration DHHS Department of Health and Human Services DOT Department of Transportation NCI National Cancer Institute NEI National Eye Institute NIAAA National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NICHD National Institute of Child Health and Human Development NIDA National Institute on Drug Abuse NIGMS National Institute of General Medical Sciences NIH National Institutes of Health NIMH National Institute of Mental Health NIRR National Institute of Research Resources VA Veterans Administration USDA Department of Agriculture Source: Adapted from information provided by NIDA.
l58 -i GO O o o "f TJ) a) iol fl) flt ml M o o hi 0 0 30 ^ O] r- O Â» * tN frl iTi tN 91 â¢â¢r> r^ -< â¢ i n â¢ â¢ Â» Â» Â» OP -H 30 ta in O m i* r* r* o O â¢vO rH r m 3 rt o tN in -r vo o i n IN â¢ Â« â¢ â¢ X tN â¢. *. Â«. ao â¢* ^ K m 00 vfl o iri iÂ£> r- 00 o ov m vo *Â»â¢ IN m 91 ao in \t> . \o r . X * Â» * O '-DM m ^ rH in r- Ei r- o o -4 0) O TT rsj ur- m in M OS 00 iT- ~r â¢ r- â¢ â¢ Â£ Â» Â» * H 0i o) ^ fO Â» n tn r4 in r- 4) TJ 3 00 â¢ o 0 ro ^ r- o m as a rÂ» SO 00 iH H tN GO â i * *â¢ Â» CO â¢ â¢ X "i r-J -r- 0Ft T r-A z hi *r mm c in i0 o m m o CO r^ O CO -T CN in r- rH O in *? o . o â¢ â¢ - *â¢ Â» ^ iH tM r- li f} *r f*. ,_) *f so 10 n in c c 3 c ^j. o o r* o o o â¢ o r^ al fll fll fll fll Â«l â¢H ^ 00 4 Â£ U K m in a M z 10 ^ 4l co Cl 0 o r o W o i 05 j in . tQl iQl fll fll Â«l njl â¢0 iv4 s^ CO rg fc m in i/i Â§ C 0 u 10 â¢ Â« C r-i Q, Â£ 6 a o U 4J j-i VI 10 4J O p C tD Z I co *i ? .U Qi 10 vi W 4-â¢ u a\ n 0) 5,c ai - io * Â£ â¢OnTJtn* t7i0) 4J C u (fl o c O c 0 n 5 iH )U 0i â c $ â¢? Â» rH !! 310 OitOr^iQ fl4JBO Di fl .O ^( T1 ^ â¢Oâ¢H 0i O3 n -r) jJ â i ^ 3Q DH 0i 0iO OO OH â¢CO .QÂ£ ^O oj -i-tÂ£ VÂ£ 4Â»O OT3 41 iO MO^-nW-nTS Jj 0 O a E 10 0 â¢" n .c ,c uoo Â« *â¢ 3 u fliH O ~ U '"â¢ 0i DJ "" kj *â¢ i_i â¢âj HO t) I 9 * VCO uCO MCO -H 0> QuÂ°l CiiCO v m m ^ DOS QhiiQCT1 U LO 1-i ^4 OS D OJ Â«| a Ti w CJ 1 4: -H - d>fl ^ â ( ^~ t0 -rHfl BOfl SO rH - --t O Qj m < O Q TJ H 4Jâ¢O tDrH I" â¢j-i "O C ig â¢â i Â£j -^ JD -i-i "O <CC u O MCc fl CO igO flCc Qflfl â¢O Â«nj O CT5 CiD Cflfl Â« ft TJ Hi X M i-i4-inoi n4JW fl c c -^ in C M TABLE Z ^ â¢ Â« 9 â¢t-iâ¢-H -i W -1 iJ Oâ¢H fliH fltti3 32 CO IJ T3 .D C O C fl tjfl t.) C 0 â i 0 c tQ0) i0 Q Â£ o> --iti 0i O Â£ ^ o j-j c^i cO4J u fl^i c i-â¢ r o u . c 5 tf ** CÂ»^ C '^ ' M *j*â fl*^' fl"* JJ fl U g 33 2551! fl fl* 3 Q Â£ O flT^T tt
l59 â¢o (0 O a â¢ r-t O â¢a n v vj s u Q 0 a â¢r-( Q 10 M si "Or*-i/ir-Â»O -<â¢*>Â» O O -4 OOOOOOOO 1> 30 OOOOOOOO O O OOOÂ»Oâ¢jiPI^ O ^ ***** * * it * âi m o PI ir m :ri coo ^ ,, H i- Â« y> o H ini/ir*'^piÂ»coâ¢l^fÂ«' in ^â¢ oivo\oor-r-r-o r- PI ^co\onPi'NCftvo co o ât PI o PI tr> pip| -H r^i ^4 -t ^4 "N iH PO o t*> 00 r- flh CD -T o â¢ - .m pim^r-r*os^rn cor* â¢-iroc?iflorÂ»piHr- 0ir- ***** * Â» * * HPIODroCM rj f^ iN co u-l in C5 âi 0O rN '"^ T MO â¢ri â¢-i PI O ***** * * Â« iHrHWrOPI iH \,o ^ vOinr*or*Mo fo irÂ» iH | M O ) â¢-< iOP|Vi9rÂ»^^O iHrH ctinr*opJ^iH r-v H1 *4 H1 m M i Â« M â¢~t ) fO U Oi Â£ O M M Â«l a I â¢o Â« 14 i u 4J S V> S 03 Â» Â» ^ U 9 u Q S S 8 o S S bata 41 o â¢a cu o u a c o u tM C 8 Â«4 H â¢3 a
l60 devoted to hallucinogens, stimulants, and "endogenous substances" have increased. In FY '80, only $3,683,000 (9 percent) of the extramural budget was devoted to cannabis research. Almost as much was spent that year by NIDA on stimulants and on tobacco. For comparison, the National Cancer Institute's budget for its program "Smoking and Health" was $l3.2 million in FY '80, of which $3.9 million was allocated for tobacco research (Little, l98l). The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute allocated $8.2 million to study the effects of cigarette smoking on the cardiovascular repiratory system (Hurd, l98l). AREAS OF RESEARCH SUPPORT Cannabis research essentially began in the late l960s with a National Institute of Mental Health program to produce "pedigreed" cannabis for research investigators. NIDA, which was created in l972, started with an extramural budget of $29.6 million and an intramural budget of $4.0 million for fiscal year l973 (Ludford, l98l). In the early l970s, NlDA's major thrusts were (a) supplying (to researchers) standardized marijuana of a known concentration of A-9-THC and of known genetic stock, (b) facilitating administrative mechanisms, and (c) attempting to understand the problem of drug abuse, e.g., how many people use the drug, what are the acute effects, and what are its implications (Petersen, l98l). Recently, NIDA's emphasis has shifted to studying certain groups, e.g., children, adolescents, and pregnant women, especially with respect to the long-term effects of cannabis on these groups (Petersen, l98l). The NIDA program plan for fiscal year l982 stresses that chronic and acute studies need to be conducted on the effects of cannabis and other drugs of abuse on women and adolescents, with a special emphasis on: (a) in-depth behavioral and biological studies of the amotivational syndrome ("burn-out"), and (b) the development of approaches to treatment. Also specifically targeted are studies of the effects on brain function and structure. Table 7 presents the NIDA projects on cannabis for fiscal years l978, l979, and l980 stratified by research goal. These research goals are defined in the footnote to the table. For fiscal years l978, l979, and l980, most of the money devoted to research on cannabis (approximately $3 million annually) was spent in three areas: (l) hazards of cannabis use, (2) basic research, and (3) research support. This last goal includes the growth, processing, packaging, and distribution of cannabis, as well as the development of the A-9-THC capsule. It is instructive to compare this distribution of cannabis funds with the distribution of the total research funds of NIDA. In FY '80, research on hazards took only l2 percent of the total NIDA research budget, basic research 42 percent, and research support l9 percent (Pollin, l98l). The allocation of funds, by research topic, for fiscal years l978, l979, and l980 is presented in Table 8. The largest proportion of the funds has been allocated to two research topics: (l) drug
l6l TABLE 7 NIDA Cannabis Projects by Research Goal: FY l978-l980 (real dollars in thousands) Goals FY 1978 FY 1979 FY 1980 1 . Epidemiology 238 54 <1 2 . Etiology 145 l33 136 3 . Prevention 77 48 4 . Hazards 916 990 1,236 5 . Therapeutic uses of cannabis 43 49 50 c . Treatment of cannabis abuse 11 2 82 7 . Basic research 972 l,295 1,036 8 . General research support 1,194 1,013 1,139 TOTAL 3,596 3,536 3,788 l. Epidemiologyâto determine the incidence, prevalence, trends, and distribution of drug abuse by sex, race, geographic origin, and other special characteristics. 2. Etiologyâto determine the etiologic factors associated with drug abuse, including those combinations of biological, psychological, and societal factors most associated with increased risk for misuse and/or abuse of drugs. 3. Preventionâto develop and test new strategies and methods which might decrease, postpone, or modify drug-abusing behavior 4. Hazardsâto determine the hazards of drug abuse to the physical and mental health of the individual and its adverse effects on society. 5. Therapeutic usesâto study the effectiveness and safety of cannabis in the treatment of various medical conditions. 6. Treatmentâto determine the most effective therapeutic procedures for reducing drug abuse including new and innovative treatment methods and development of more effective drugs to be used in treatment. 7. Basic researchâto advance basic knowledge of the pharmacology, biochemistry, and neurophysiology of drugs, the basic mechanisms involved in drug tolerance, and dependence and the underlying processes involved in addictive and/or habitual behaviors. 8. Research supportâto develop the methodological and support resources required to further drug abuse research; to provide for the publication and evaluation of research results, the analysis and supply of controlled substances, and the development of chemical methods to detect and assay drugs. Source: Adapted from information provided by NIDA.
l62 TABLE 8 NIDA Cannabinoid Projects by Research Topic: FY l978-l980 (real dollars in thousands) FY l978 FY l979 FY l980 Assay and models 482 302 268 Drug development, synthesis, and distribution 706 756 950 Psychophysiology 54 76 16 Performance (esp. driving) l93 lll 76 Reproduction and development 49l 864 849 Behavioral studies l24 62 15 Other drug effects/toxicity 397 347 440 Metabolism and pharmacokinetics 26l 446 259 Immunology 69 85 ~ Drug interactions -- 64 97 Chemistry 67 58 l03 Mechanism of tolerance and dependence 285 l74 l34 Cultural/ethnic l95 45 69 Patterns and lifestyle 57 80 l27 Crime/law l37 66 337 Abuse liability 76 â 48 TOTAL 3,594^ 3,536 3,788 to rounding of numbers, the total value is not exactly the same as in Table 7. Source: Adapted from information provided by NIDA.
l63 development, synthesis, and distribution; and (2) drug effects on reproduction and development. Grants, Contracts, and Intramural Projects Tables 9 through ll compare the number of grants, contracts, and intramural projects on cannabis, as well as the funds expended by each agency for fiscal years l977, l978, and l979. In each of these years, most of the extramural awards and most of the money involved investigator-initiated research grants. The ratio of grant to contract funds rose during this period from approximately l.5 in FY '77 to almost 3.0 in FY '79. For NIDA as a whole, that ratio has consistently been much higher; in FY '79, for example, the funding of grants was more than five times that of contracts. Support of investigator-initiated research grants requires that grant applications be approved by a peer review committee. In the peer review process, each approved grant is given a priority score based on scientific merit of the proposal (scaled from l00 to 500, with l00 the highest). This priority score determines the order in which available funds are dispersed. The award rate for all drug research supported by NIDA is shown in Table l2. The percentage of grants recommended for approval has increased slightly over recent years, as has the total number of grant applications. However, the percent of approved grants that has been funded has gone down sharply, as shown in the table. For FY '8l it is estimated that only 25 percent of all applicants were ultimately funded. The priority score at the 90th percentile of funded applications has also been declining, and in l98l was estimated at l90. These data suggest that there has been no decline in the quality of funded grantsâif anything, the quality has risen during the past few years. The number of investigator-initiated projects has decreased slightly but still exceeds the number of contracts and intramural projects. Grants generally are for a period of 3 years (renewable on a year-to-year basis), with a maximum period of 5 years (Petersen, l98l). Contract projects are funded on a year-to-year basis and are mainly concerned with the growth, processing, packaging, and distribution of cannabis, as well as with the development of the A-9-THC capsule.* A few studies are conducted on toxicology and pharmacokinetics (Petersen, l98l). For fiscal years l977, l978, and l979, the number of contracts has declined: l6, l4, and l0, respectively. However, the requests for proposals for fiscal years l980 and l98l have increased to l2 and l4, respectively (Ludford, l98l). Intramural projects account for a small portion of the budget; for fiscal years l977, l978, and l979, they have been declining. *NIDA has requested that the NIH take over the cost and distribution of the drugs for clinical studies (Snyder, l98l).
l64 TABLE 9 Cannabinoid Research by Agency: FY l977 (real dollars in thousands) Grants No. Funds Contracts No. Funds Intramural No. Funds Total No. Funds ADAMHA NIDA 55 2,267 l6 l,629 NIMH 8 l67 NIAAA 2 8 NIH NCI 4 91 NEI NCHD NIRR NIGMS OTHER AGENCIES VA DOT ~ -- 2 55 USDA TOTAL 69 2,533 l8 l,684 44 75 8 2 3,940 167 8 91 7 52 l 4l l2 137 7 2 1 99 52 55 41 4,354 Source: Adapted from information provided by NIDA. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS Total federal support for research on cannabis has been declining in real dollars over the past 3 years. Most of that support comes from the NIDA research budget, which allocates approximately l0 percent of its resources to this purpose. The current level of funding, under 4 million dollars, supports only about 50 extramural projects and represents only one-tenth of the total research program of NIDA. This decline in support has inexplicably occurred during a period when the concern of the public and of all levels of government seems to be rising. It cannot be explained by lack of interest in the field, for research grant applications have risen; neither can it be
l65 TABLE l0 Cannabinoid Research By Agency: (real dollars in thousands) FY l978 Grants Contracts Intramural Total No. Funds No. Funds No. Funds No. Funds ADAHHA NIDA 47 2,l04 l4 l,460 3 30 64 3,594 NIMH 5 l58 -- â 3 56 8 2l4 NIAAA 5 85 5 85 NIH NCI 2 80 2 80 NEI 3 68 3 68 NCHD l l3 l l3 NIRR 2 26 2 26 M TfMQ W _L Olio â â â OTHER AGENCIES VA ~ â â â 6 26 6 26 DOT l * l 1 USDA â TOTAL 65 2,534 l5 l,460 12 1l2 92 4,l06 Vindicates a funding level of less than $l000. Source : Adapted from information provided by NIDA. attributed to lack of scientific opportunity; for every area we have studied, the committee has identified important questions that seem amenable to new research efforts. (Many of these have been enumerated in the preceding chapters.) In FY '80, NIDA spent a nearly equal amount on stimulant drugs and more than four times as much on narcotics and narcotic antago- nists. Most of the cannabis research is devoted to three areas in approximately equal amounts: (l) growth, processing and distribution; (2) hazards of cannabis use; and (3) basic research. Three quarters of all the federal research money devoted to cannabis goes to
l66 TABLE ll Cannabinoid Research by Agency: (real dollars in thousands) FY l979 Grants Contracts^. Intramural Total No. Funds No. Funds No. Funds No. Funds ADAMHA NIDA 54 2,608 l0 925 l 3 65 3,536 NIMH 4 l45 â â 3 62 7 207 NIAAA 6 l22 6 l22 NIH NCI 2 85 2 85 NEI l 36 l 36 NICHD l l5 l 15 NIRR â â NIGMS l 9 l 9 OTHER AGENCIES VA â â â ~ 8 25 8 25 DOT â â 2 l04 2 104 USDA â â l 85 1 as TOTAL 69 3,020 l3 l,ll4 l2 90 94 4,224 180: RFP l2 FY 18l: RFP l4 Source: Adapted from information provided by NIDA. investigator-initiated extramural research grants, and most of the rest to extramural contracts. There is relatively little intramural research. The fraction of NIDA grants approved is about 60 percent, but the fraction funded is slightly more than half of that. The total number of cannabis research grants is declining steadily as support (in constant dollars) continues to fall and the average cost of a project (in constant dollars) goes up. The committee believes that the magnitude of the problem, and the extent and depth of public concern about the consequences of marijuana use warrant more support of research in this field.
l67 TABLE l2 Drug Abuse Research Grant Award Rates and Priority Scores 1979 1980 1981 1982 Actual Actual Estimate Estimate Applicants received (number) Percent recommended for approval 359 59 369 62 382 63 360 62 Percent funded of those approved during year Percent funded of all applicants 90 percent priority score 63 37 57 35 40 25 27 20 170 244 230 l90 Source: Adapted from information provided by NIDA. Emphasis should be on studies of human beings and other primates, and investigator-initiated research grants should continue to be the primary vehicle of support. RECOMMENDATIONS In view of the demonstrated high potential of risk to human health that has been associated with the use of cannabis, the existing funds allocated to such research are not appropriate. The committee's recommendations to federal agencies regarding support of cannabis-related research are: * More support of cannabis research is needed. Properly allocated, it could pay large dividends in new knowledge and could help to dispel present ignorance in many critical areas. Without this new information, the present level of public anxiety and controversy over the use of marijuana is not likely to be resolved in the forseeable future. Furthermore, we are not likely to improve our present slow progress in developing information about possible therapeutic uses of cannabis and its analogues without the stimulus of increased research grant support. At the end of each of the chapters, we have pointed out opportunities or problems that are ripe at this time. * A larger proportion of NIDA resources could justifiably be allocated to cannabis research. Without wishing to minimize the value of any of the other drug research programs now supported by NIDA, we believe that the magnitude and social urgency of the marijuana problem warrant a higher priority for cannabis research
l68 than it has apparently received to date. A drug that is currently used by about a third of all American high school seniors, and daily by about one in eleven, deserves more study than we currently are giving it. No other illicit drug is used as widely by our youth, and yet NIDA spent only 9 percent of its research budget on it in FY '80. â¢ NIDA would be advised to continue its recent policy of reducing the relative proportion of contracts and emphasizing grants. Although we believe that there is need for federal initiatives in stimulating work in neglected areas of current concern, the bulk of research supert should continue to go to investigator-initiated projects. â¢ The duration for investigator-initiated research should be lengthened beyond the average 3-year period in order to attract and hold good researchers. â¢ Other agencies should contribute funds for the production, processing, and distribution of cannabis. â¢ A scientific advisory group should be formed to assist in providing scientific evidence and guidance to the director of NIDA. â¢ An increased interagency effort targeted toward specific problems not readily addressed by other approaches is required. These would include, for example, human long-term studies, as well as studies in epidemiology, prevention, and treatment. Funds should be contributed by all agencies. ' Research on human beings and other primates should be encouraged, particularly studies in the young. There is a special need at this time for good epidemiological studies that follow identifiable cohorts of marijuana users over a period of time. REFERENCES Hurd, Susan. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Bethesda, Md. Personal communication, l98l. Little, Francine. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md. Personal communication, l98l. Leventhal, Carl. National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism, and Digestive Diseases, Bethesda, Md. Personal communication, l98l. Ludford, Jacqueline. National Institute on Drug Abuse, Rockville, MD. Personal communication, l98l. Petersen, Robert. National Institute on Drug Abuse, Rockville, Md. Personal communication, l98l. Pollin, W. Statement on Drug Abuse Research before the Subcommittee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Committee on Labor and Human Resources. United States Senate, July 27, l98l. Snyder, Marvin. National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, Md. Personal communication, l98l.