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
Vastag B. Medical Marijuana Center Opens Doors. JAMA. 2003;290(7):877–879. doi:10.1001/jama.290.7.877
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