California Center for Medical Cannabis Research Approves $3M for Medical Marijuana Research
The Center for Medical Cannabis Research Thursday announced the approval of $3 million in funding for four studies that will examine the use of marijuana to relieve pain associated with HIV or multiple sclerosis, the AP/Orange County Register reports. Researchers at the San Diego and San Francisco campuses of the University of California will study "how smoked marijuana affects HIV-related pain," while other facilities will investigate "whether pot can ease spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis and the drug's effect on the driving abilities of patients with AIDS or MS." Scientists are still waiting to obtain the marijuana that will be used in the studies, as research-grade marijuana is only available through Drug Enforcement Agency and FDA approval from a federal farm at the University of Mississippi. Igor Grant, professor of psychiatry at UCSD and director of CMCR, said that federal officials are interested in the studies, as long as the scientists are "serious people looking at serious medical questions and not approaching it from some advocacy position" (AP/Orange County Register, 2/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.