2 1 I Thursday, May 30, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
University study to examine
effects of medical marijuana
Thursday, May 30, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
By ARIANA ASSAF
who has this position
The use of medical marijuana
as a pain reliever has long been of
high interest to activists, scientists
and policymakers. Appealing to
these interests, a new study at the
University will work to determine
the exact benefits medical mari-
juana may offer to those who suffer
from various medical afflictions.
Michigan, which legalized medi-
cal marijuana in 2008, has 135,267
patients registered to buy and use
the drug, according to the Michigan
Department of Licensing and Regu-
latoryAffairs. The state is one of the
18, along with Washington D.C., to
have legalized medical marijuana.
Researchers plan to identify 800
participants by approaching new
patients who have already made
the decision to become a registered
medical marijuana user in
Michigan. Interested participants
cannot contact the researchers.
The National Institute on
Drug Abuse donated $2.2 million
towards the fulfillment of this
project. The available funds will
be used to compensate participants
for their time, pay support staff and
support the infrastructure needed
to conduct such research.
Data collection will occur over
the span of two years, during
which the researchers will follow
up with participants about their
pain and health levels since
becoming registered medical
marijuana users. The follow-up
From Page 1
"It's absolutely hideous
that this could happen," Boyle
continued. "We have to hold
people accountable or else you
don't know what might happen.
The more transparency the
better to avoid further incidents
University spokesman Rick
procedures will take place every
six months and will be conducted
by researchers in-person.
Mark Ilgen, assistant professor
of psychiatry at the Medical
School and leader of the study, said
although researchers had been
interested in carrying out this
kind of study for a while, writing
grants and scrutinizing the details
delayed the procedure.
However, now that plans to carry
out the study have been made, he
said his team was "very excited."
Some studies already exist to
determine the potential efficacy of
medical marijuana as a pain reliev-
er, but they are often similar to stud-
ies that examine other pain-relief
medications and do not take into
account long-term results or the
overall quality of life of participants.
"We plan to identify people
seeking a card for a first time, get
data on how they're functioning
and feeling when they show up to
the clinic (for the first time), and
track changes over two years,"
Unlike other studies, this
research methodology will not rely
on a control group, but will instead
identify subgroups of people by
clustering those with similar
characteristics- such as symptoms
and levels of functionality.
Given the lack of adequate
information and guidelines for
medical advisors when prescribing
medical marijuana, Ilgen said there
was all the more need for a "neutral
felt that there wasn't a lot of
data behind the use of medical
marijuana as a pain reliever," he
said. "(They found ) there aren't a
lot of clear guidelines about what
Fitzgerald said he shares Boyle's
belief that the situation requires
lucidity and accuracy, and said
he feels their actions reflect that.
Fitzgerald added that the
Division of Public Safety and
Security was created as a result
of the incident and is designed to
be preventative in nature.
Fitzgerald said this case has
been taken seriously and covered
extensively, the administration
has also created a website as a
Unisersity researcher Mark Ilgen studies the effectiveness of medical marijuana with
help tram caregivers and dispensary tacilities such as Green Planet on Tappan Avenue.
advice treatment advisors should
give their patients."
Ilgen added that a concern for
the design of the study was the fact
that a lot of the data-such as pain
levels and how participants were
faring in life-were self-reported,
and hence subjective.
However, in future studies,
researchers will include more
objective standards such as level
of alcohol and other drug use, and
number of visits to the emergency
room to determine the effects of
medical marijuana both on patient
pain levels and overall functionality.
To add to the existing data,
researchers had considered includ-
ing reports by family members
regarding how participants were
doing as part of the data collection
but ultimately decided against it.
"With all these approaches there
are pros and cons, and one of the
clear trade offs is the cost to confi-
dentiality to involve anyone else in
means for the public to access
documents related to the case.
"The approach with this case
has been incredibly transparent,
and we've released document
after document after document,"
Fitzgerald said. "Many items
have been tied up in the federal
prosecution, but those were
also made public after (the case
He added that the decision to
withhold the documents was in
the study," Ilgen said. "We wanted
to err on the side of respecting
participant confidentiality, (but)
there are a number of interesting
directions this research could go
in follow up studylike how medical
marijuana use affects a family."
Another idea was to test each
participant's marijuana to deter-
mine its potency, but Ilgen said
that liability concerns, combined
with the fact that participants
may be using different strains, led
researchers to decide against it.
The breadth of available data
and the lack of current information
regarding the advantages of
medical marijuana called for
extensive research, Ilgen said. The
research showed a unique potential
as compared to other projects.
"I've been e-mailed about patients
who are really passionate about this,
and that's never happened to me
before,"he said."Itreally does feelso
new and important."
order to protect people's privacy
and not reveal anyone's personal
"As the primary University
spokesperson for this issue, I feel
the University has gone out of
its way to answer questions and
provide information regarding
this issue," Fitzgerald said.
"There's always been a wealth
of information available and
everything is in place for those
who want it."
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The Michigan Daily (ISSN 0745-967) is
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By MICHAEL KESSLER
Daily Sports Writer
Fifth-year senior Amanda
Eccleston won the Big Ten indoor
mile title in her first year on the
Michigan women's track and field
team. She then won the Big Ten
outdoor 1,500-meter run. So it
should come as no surprise that
in the NCAA East Preliminary
Rounds this past weekend in
Greensboro, N.C., Eccleston won
her heat in the 1,500-meter run,
setting a new personal-best time
of 4:17.75 to qualify for the NCAA
Eccleston was one of four
Wolverines to advance to the
NCAA championships, in what
willbe her last meet ofthe season.
Eccleston's record time was
even more impressive given the
initial sluggish pace of the heat,
which ran markedly slower in the
first 400 meters than the second
heat. Maintaining her position
in the middle of the pack for the
balance of the race, Eccleston
turned it on in the final two laps
to win the heat going away.
"I'm very excited to have the
opportunity to run [at Nationals],
and I'm definitely hoping to
make the final and go for an All-
American spot," Eccleston said.
"I don't really know what to
expect for Division I nationals
yet, but I think the way that I've
been racing, I have a really good
shot at making finals and placing
really high in the nation."
Eccleston knows athing or two
about competing on the national
stage, though. She spent the first
four years of her collegiate career
at Division II Hillsdale College,
where she was the Division II
national champion in the mile run
in2012.One yearlater,she returns
to the national championships,
this time at the highest level of
"The competition at Division I
is so much tougher,it's alittle hard
to compare, but I think doing so
well last year gives me confidence
that I can at leastget in a race and
be very competitive and go for
that top place," Eccleston said. "I
don't really know exactly how it's
going to play out, but I'm looking
forward to it."
Eccleston wasn't the only
Michigan athlete to thrive in the
1,500-meter run. Fellow senior
Rebecca Addison also qualified
for nationals in a personal-best
time of 4:15.81, to win her heat
with the top overall time.
"I was really excited, because I
knew to make it I would probably
have to run a PR (personal
record), so with it being a little
faster it helped to have so much
pushing in some sense," Addison
said. "I'm really excited to finally
make it to nationals, it's been a
goal of mine the whole year and
I've never made it to nationals
Eccleston and Addison's
dueling first-place finishes in the
two heats continued a trend of
dominance this season for the
pair in the 1,500-meter run. The
pair came off first and third place
finishes in their last meet, the Big
Ten Outdoor Championships,
where they were key catalysts for
Michigan's overall fourth place
"That was so exciting to have
Michigan athletes win both heats,
it shows a lot about how hard we
work and especially how well
we are at finishing races strong,"
Eccleston said."I'm really excited
that we both made it, to be able
to train together the next couple
weeks and run together, so I
think that made it more special."
Eccleston and Addison were
the only Wolverines competing
in track events to qualify, but
they will be joined by a pair of
Michigan field athletes who
impressed as well.
On the first day of competition
Thursday, senior Erin Pendleton
qualified in the discus throw with
a season-best toss of 53.13 meters,
good for third overall. Then,
on Friday, redshirt junior Kiley
Tobel qualified in the pole vault,
clearing 4.10 meters to finish in
the top group of athletes.
The four Michigan athletes
will have a week and a half to
train and prep for the NCAA
Outdoor Championships, which
begin June 5 in Eugene, Ore.
WDME'S TRACK & FIELD
Michigan sends four to
MEN'S TRACK & FIELD
Aratsu leads men's qualifiers
By ZACH SHAW best race, but it was a solid race and
Daily Sports Writer enough for another chance."
Arastu will be joined by
In arguably its most crowded freshman Mason Ferlic in the track
meet of the year, the Michigan events. Ferlic, who qualified in the
men's track and field team had 3,000-meter steeplechase, ran a
its work cut out for it. Teams as 8:41.83 for to automatically qualify
far as Louisiana to Florida came for national championship. After
to compete in the NCAA East competing the 3,000-meter run for
Preliminaries at Greensboro, N.C. much of the year, Ferlic dropped
over the weekend. ten seconds from his career-best
And when all was said and time to place fourth in just his
done, five athletes secured spots third-career attempt at the event.
to stay alive for one final chance to The field portion of Michigan's
compete next week at the NCAA team will be represented by junior
Championships in Eugene, Ore. Ethan Dennis and sophomore
"This is a very tough meet, and Cody Riffle. The school record-
advancing is even tougher," said holders will compete in the
Michigan coach Fred LaPlante. hammer throw and shot put,
"But after being in the Big Ten, respectively. Additionally, senior
we're pretty battle-tested, and Kurt Reichenbach will compete in
we showed that. We made a the decathlon, which was based
good account of ourselves and off of regular-season scores rather
Michigan, and I'm proud of all of than prelims due to the demanding
our performances." nature of the event.
The highlight for the Wolverine's Aratsu is the only returning
came in the 400-meter hurdles, quailfier this year, after he was
where junior Ali Arastu qualified joined by 2012 graduate Craig
for the national meet. Arastu - Forys in the steeple chase and the
who will compete in his third 4x400-meter relay.
outdoor NCAA championship After a disappointing tenth-
meet - clocked a time of 51.17 on place finish at the Big Ten
Friday, good for fourth place. The championships, the Wolverines
second-fastest hurdler in school had an opportunity to reset in
history and reigning All-American Greensboro. The top 48 athletes
will now focus on putting his name from the region in each event all
in Michigan track lore with an year qualify for the event. But
outside shot at a national crown. using a system installed in 2009,
"(Arastu's) got alotofexperience all previous times are disregarded
now in the big meets," LaPlante once the race begins.
said. "He's been to Olympic trials "Some of our guys had a
and the national championship disappointing Big Ten meet,"
twice before, so his emotions were LaPlante said. "But every one of
very under control. It wasn't his them was totally reset by Monday.
They put Big Tens in their rearview
mirror and were focused on
preparing forthis meet and looking
to do well, and they did that."
The five athletes advancing to
the national stage won't turn many
heads in the track world, but that
doesn't bother coach LaPlante.
With a hurdler, a distance runner,
a shot-putter, a thrower and-
the most balanced event of all-a
decathlete, the Wolverines will be
represented across the board on
the national stage.
"When you go to championships
you always see teams that are
all distance-oriented or sprint-
oriented, or all focused in a few e
events," Laplante said. "We've got
a little bit of everything heading
in, and we'll have all of our coaches
around to help us do what we need
While the diversity of the
remaining five pleases Coach
LaPlante, it may present a
problem in this week's practice.
Traditionally, competition is the
ultimate motivator in practice;
sprinters race each other, distance
runners push each other through
the long workouts, and field
competitors are always looking
to be that day's champion. With
no one left to compete against,
LaPlante is looking for self-
motivation within his team.
"All year you've been sweating
it out with your teammates and
your buddies, and now those guys
are gone and it's just you and the
coach," LaPlante said. "It's an
adjustment to make, but I think
these guys can handle it."
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