Advocacy Group Sues Federal Agencies Over Statements About Medical Marijuana, Including Benefits for HIV-Positive People
February 22, 2007
The Oakland, Calif.-based advocacy group Americans for Safe Access on Wednesday filed suit in Oakland federal court against HHS and FDA over statements the organizations have made about medical marijuana, citing several studies that found the drug might benefit HIV-positive people, the Los Angeles Times reports (Bailey, Los Angeles Times, 2/22). The lawsuit was filed following a study published in the Feb. 13 issue of the journal Neurology finding that medical marijuana might reduce pain from peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve damage, among people living with HIV/AIDS. For the study, Donald Abrams of the University of California-San Francisco and colleagues examined the effects of smoking medicinal marijuana among people living with HIV/AIDS during a two-year period beginning in May 2003. The study found that after the first cigarette on the first day, at least 50% of participants who received active marijuana reported a 72% reduction in pain. Over five days, the median reduction in pain reported by the active marijuana smokers was 34%, compared with 17% in the placebo group, the study found. The researchers took steps to ensure that the marijuana in the study -- which was grown on the government's official marijuana farm in Mississippi and stored in a locked freezer -- was not used for recreational purposes (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/13). ASA also cited studies that found medical marijuana might be effective for AIDS wasting, muscle spasticity and chronic pain (Los Angeles Times, 2/22).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2007 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
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