SAN MATEO COUNTY: Hopes To Test Marijuana Program
San Mateo County is asking the federal government to approve a one-year clinical trial of countywide, health facility medical marijuana distribution, the San Mateo County Times reports. While California voters' affirmation of Proposition 215 in 1996 legalized the medical use of marijuana, the state's beleaguered "cannabis clubs" have been unable to circumvent federal prohibitions on cultivation and distribution. County Health Supervisor Mike Nevin "said a one- year clinical trial would show the county can be trusted to use its health clinics, hospital and area hospice organizations to distribute the drug in keeping with the spirit of Proposition 215." Nevin said the county is capable of carrying out its own program, and would prefer not to rely on cannabis clubs for distribution.
The Proper Channels
The County Health Department has formulated a proposal for a clinical trial. Proponents hope a trial would "contribute significantly to knowledge about the benefits of using marijuana to treat and relieve suffering and would also demonstrate the effectiveness of using the county's distribution system." County Legislative Director Mary McMillan said officials will consult the Food and Drug Administration to learn "what is required to set up a clinical drug trial." Supervisor Nevin "said he expects to travel to Washington, D.C., in the next few weeks to garner support for a pilot program" (Adams, 3/10).