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November 28, 2001
Pondrom, UCSD (619) 543-6163
UC Center for Medicinal Cannabis Studies
The University of
California’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR), has received
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) approval to begin two clinical studies
on the possible efficacy of cannabis in the treatment of two severe medical
The studies approved
by the DEA are:
DEA Administrator Asa
Hutchinson said “this announcement is consistent with the DEA position that
the question of whether marijuana has any legitimate medical purpose should be
determined by sound science and medicine”.
Igor Grant, M.D.,
director of the CMCR at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) stated
that “the approval of these clinical trials by the DEA and other federal and
state agencies provides a unique opportunity to conduct much needed rigorous
scientific studies that can determine if cannabis products have a role in
ameliorating suffering or improving prognosis in severe medical conditions for
patients that might not have benefited fully from other treatments.”
In addition to exploring possible benefits, these studies will monitor potential side effects and toxicities. In particular, the following sub-study will investigate effects on complex behaviors such as driving skills.
A further study at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is pending DEA approval, anticipated in the near future.
headquartered at UCSD and UCSF, is a statewide, state-funded initiative to
study the safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis to treat certain medical
conditions. The Center supports and coordinates scientific research at
universities and research centers throughout California, assessing the use of
cannabis as an alternative for treating specific medical conditions. Diseases
and conditions targeted for treatment are those that have been identified as
warranting further research by the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of
Medicine, and by a National Institutes of Health expert panel.
Before studies are
submitted to the state and federal regulatory review agencies, an external
Scientific Review Board, composed of national senior scientists, conducts a
thorough review of each study, only approving studies of the highest
scientific standards. The CMCR also has a National Advisory Council in place
to advise and assist the Center’s directorate.
After approval by the Scientific Review Board, each of the above studies were approved by the Research Advisory Panel of California, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The studies will order product from NIDA and are expected to begin recruitment at the beginning of next year.
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