Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
San Mateo County, Calif., Begins Enrollment in Medical Marijuana Study
San Mateo County, Calif., Health Center officials on Tuesday began recruiting patients to participate in the "first federally approved study" to examine the potential benefits of medical marijuana in controlling AIDS-related pain and stimulating appetite, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports (AP/Contra Costa Times, 4/3). The two-year study will enroll 60 participants who must be at least age 18,
HIV-positive, on antiretroviral drugs and suffering from neurological problems. Those with a history of mental disorders or alcohol or drug addiction are ineligible. According to Dr. Dennis Israelski, chief of infectious diseases and AIDS medicine at the county center, study enrollees will be required "to keep a log of their marijuana use and turn in butts ... during scheduled visits." County health officials proposed the study after voters in 1996 passed Proposition 215, the ballot initiative legalizing medical marijuana. The federal Drug Enforcement Agency agreed in November to supply the study with government-grown marijuana (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/4).
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