CALIFORNIA: MEDICAL MARIJUANA BILL PASSES COMMITTEE
"A bill aiming to make it easier for sick people to buyThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
marijuana for medical use passed its first test in the state
Legislature on Wednesday," Los Angeles Times/cite> reports.
The state Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed a
measure by a 5-2 vote that would create a 12-member task force to
design a "distribution network" to make marijuana available for
medical purposes. The measure would also "create a Medical
Marijuana Research Center at the University of California and
allocate $6 million over three years for research on the health
risks and merits of marijuana."
CONTROVERSIAL TOPIC: Dr. Igor Grant, professor of
psychiatry at UC San Diego, said, "My concern is that the
pyrotechnics of the marijuana debate not leave behind two
unintended victims -- the patients who are suffering and the
truth." He added that with more research, "California can lead
the way from opinion to fact." State Sen. John Vasconcellos (D),
author of the bill, said his goal is to "clear the air on all the
controversy." He said, "It's a very simple bill. The way people
are reacting, you'd think it was the end of Western civilization
if a sick person smokes a joint." However, Art Croney, a
lobbyist for the Committee on Moral Concerns, said, "Marijuana is
not medicine. It is a drug that makes people think they feel
better" (Warren, 4/3).