Thursday, February 18, 2010

Clinical trials show medical benefits of pot


Thursday, February 18, 2010
The first U.S. clinical trials in more than 20 years on the medical efficacy of marijuana found that pot helps relieve pain and muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis and certain neurological conditions, according to a report released Wednesday by a UC research center.
Dr. Igor Grant, a UC San Diego psychiatrist who directs the center, called the report "good evidence" that marijuana would be an effective front-line treatment for neuropathy, a condition that can cause tingling, numbness and pain.
"We focused on illnesses where current medical treatment does not provide adequate relief or coverage of symptoms," Grant said. "These findings provide a strong science-based context in which policymakers and the public can begin discussing the place of cannabis in medical care."
Despite California's passage in 1996 of Proposition 215, which allows patients with a valid doctor's recommendation to grow and possess marijuana for personal medical use, the federal government classifies marijuana as an illicit drug with no medical use and has closed pot clubs and prosecuted suppliers. Thirteen other states have passed similar measures legalizing medical marijuana.
Proponents of medical marijuana see Wednesday's news as the turning of the tide for what they hope would become federal acceptance of pot's therapeutic benefits.



The report by the University of California's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research can be found at www.cmcr.ucsd.edu.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/17/MNRF1C3964.DTL#ixzz0fvRdkJhr

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