It’s about a mile along Division Street from Dr. Matt Layton’s office on the Washington State University medical campus in Spokane to the nearest recreational marijuana store.
As a private adult under Washington law, Layton could walk into that store, buy a gram of marijuana and use it however he sees fit at home (though he’s quick to point out he could lose his federal license to prescribe other drugs and probably his job if he were caught).
As a researcher, he can survey the chronic-pain patients and people addicted to opioids he works with and ask them if and how they’re using marijuana to manage their symptoms.
Here’s what he can’t do. As much as he’d like to, he can’t buy those same marijuana strains and work with colleagues in the WSU College of Pharmacy to analyze them and break down the cannabis compounds they contain. He can’t test those compounds in