MEDICAL MARIJUANA: County Gets Green Light to Study Medical Pot
San Mateo County health officials have been given tentative approval by federal regulators to conduct a study on the effectiveness of medical marijuana, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Following the 1996 passage of Proposition 215, county officials proposed the study to "discover if patients can follow a strict regimen and control access to the drug." A panel of Department of Health and Human Services scientists gave conditional approval to the county's request, and San Mateo officials said they see "no substantial hurdles" to launching a controlled study of the drug's effectiveness at relieving pain and promoting appetite. Pending final approval, county officials plan to distribute "research-grade" marijuana to 60 HIV patients suffering from neuropathy. To prevent misuse of the drug, government officials recommend dispensing a maximum of five cigarettes per visit to each patient and "obtaining frequent reports" about the drug's effects. The county also needs approval from the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Agency before the study can begin (Wilson, 5/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.