About AIDS

DEA Approves California Marijuana Study

This column has repeatedly urged well-constructed clinical studies on the effects of marijuana-as-medicine on nausea, weight loss, spastic muscle conditions, and pain - all of which can be symptoms experienced with AIDS. Recognizing extensive anecdotal evidence of its value, all the West Coast states have passed laws allowing individuals to grow, possess, and use marijuana for medical reasons. However, implementing such studies has been difficult because the legal establishment has disagreed with scientists on guidelines for the experiments.

Two weeks ago, the DEA approved a three-month research program allowing researchers to give government-produced pot to 60 AIDS patients with neurological disorders in San Mateo County, California. The goal is to see whether marijuana performs as its advocates say.

Other researchers are studying cannabis, too. The University of

California-San Diego has established the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, with plans to support six or seven studies each year for three years. The NIH is also funding HIV-related projects elsewhere. At last ...

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