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Medical News and Perspectives
August 20, 2003

Medical Marijuana Center Opens Doors

JAMA. 2003;290(7):877-879. doi:10.1001/jama.290.7.877

While scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have scrutinized marijuana's effects on the brain, lungs, and other parts of the body over the past 2 decades, there has been virtually no research into the drug's therapeutic potential.

That changed last year, when the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) launched its first clinical trials. Interest in the issue was sparked by the 1996 legalization of medical marijuana in California, and fanned by two influential reports—the first from an NIH consensus panel (Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana. Bethesda, Md: National Institutes of Health; 1997), the second from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies (Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 1999).

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