San Mateo County Votes to Study Medicinal Marijuana: Says Research Will Provide Access for Patients 5/15/98

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As municipalities all over California struggle to find appropriate ways to implement proposition 215, officials in San Mateo County, which includes part of San Francisco, think they might have found a way to bypass the legal complications of the buyer's clubs and provide marijuana directly to those who need it most. Last week, county supervisors voted three to one to develop a research study into the medicinal uses of marijuana. If it goes forward, the project would run for three years and include as many as 2,000 patients who suffer from a variety of ailments thought to benefit from marijuana. And if it is successful, county supervisors hope the results could lend support to 215 and even lead to a change in federal laws.

The biggest hurdle facing the proposed study now is approval from the FDA, DEA and other regulatory agencies, who control access to the US' only legal source of marijuana. For the past twenty years, the government has approved access only for those clinical studies which seek to show the harmful effects of marijuana. Researchers who want to study the potential benefits of the drug have been rejected outright or stalled in red tape for years. Nevertheless, proponents of the San Mateo project hope their chances will be improved by the conclusions of an expert panel convened by the National Institutes of Health last February, which acknowledged the need for further clinical research on medical marijuana.

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Issue #42, 5/15/98 Preliminary Injunction Granted Against 6 California Buyers' Clubs: Medical Marijuana to Get its Day in Court | Kentucky Farmers Seek Federal Court Ruling on Hemp | Santa Clara County Buyers' Club Closes After Police Seize Assets | Portland MS Patient Found Guilty of Marijuana Possession, Manufacturing | Another Botched Raid in New York, Another Innocent Family Terrorized in the Name of "Our Children" | San Mateo County Votes to Study Medicinal Marijuana: Says Research Will Provide Access for Patients | Record Two Million Private Conversations Monitored by Government in 1997 | Forfeiture Victims Need Help | Medical Journal Reports AIDS Patient's Persistent Hiccups Relieved by Marijuana | Editorial: McLies
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