WSU researchers team with Puyallup tribe on medicinal cannabis research

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SPOKANE — Researchers at Washington State University are teaming up with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians in an effort to chart the tribe’s outcomes prescribing medicinal marijuana to patients.

The partnership between the land grant institution in Pullman and the Tacoma-based native tribe is intended to create a standard to evaluate treatment plans at a natural healing clinic the Puyallups opened in October, and to determine the effectiveness of the drug as an alternative to opioids in managing pain.

“We’ll hand them an iPad, and ask them to fill out a couple quick surveys,” said Michael McDonell, chair of WSU’s Collaboration on Cannabis Policy, Research and Outreach. “Some of the outcomes we’re interested in looking at, is what kind of cannabis are they using? What effect is it having on their pain or well-being, and their quality of life?”

The Puyallup tribe has staked several claims in the state’s legal marijuana industry, opening two recreational stores in the Tacoma area. One opened its doors last month with celebrity guests Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, the comedians responsible for several stoner-inspired comedies of the 1970s and 1980s. The clinic is named “Qwibil,” a native word for fixing one’s self mentally, physically or spiritually, and is in the tradition of the Puyallup people, said its chairman.

“From time immemorial, the Puyallup have practiced traditional healing,” said Bill Sterud, chairman of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, in a news release from WSU announcing the team-up. “This partnership with WSU and Qwibil will help us research

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