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SDSU Gets OK for Marijuana Study

November 29, 2001

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A California university has received final approval from the federal government for a study on medical marijuana.

Two professors of neurology at the University of California at San Diego Medical Center plan to study the effects of marijuana on patients with multiple sclerosis and those who suffer neuropathy, or nerve pain, associated with AIDS.

The studies will be the first to emerge out of the university’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, a program created by the state Legislature in 1999.

Since California became the first state to approve medical marijuana in 1996, six other states have followed suit. Federal law, however, prohibits the sale of marijuana for medical uses.

The Drug Enforcement Administration granted the final approval Wednesday, saying it hoped to introduce some science into what has been an emotionally charged debate. The agency maintains that past studies have shown no medical benefit to smoking marijuana.

``The question of whether marijuana has any legitimate medical purpose should be determined by sound science and medicine,″ DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson said in a statement.

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