Medical advisers say don't expand marijuana law
PHOENIX (AP) -- Medical officials have recommended that Arizona's top public health official deny proposals to expand the state's medical marijuana program, saying it didn't find convincing evidence that the drug helps people with post-traumatic stress disorder or three other conditions.
The Department of Health Services' medical advisory committee report to agency director Will Humble was obtained Thursday by The Associated Press under Arizona's public records law. The recommendation was dated Tuesday.
Requests pending with Humble would allow medical marijuana use for PTSD, migraine headaches, anxiety and depression.
The recommendation cites University of Arizona studies that looked for scientific research findings on medical marijuana and the four medical conditions.
"We acknowledge there is anecdotal evidence that using marijuana has helped patients, but there is no way to exclude the possibility that the improvement is due solely to placebo," the advisory committee said in its report.
Arizona now permits medical marijuana use to treat cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, chronic pain, muscle spasms and hepatitis C.
Those conditions were authorized in the law approved by voters in 2008 to create the program. The law also requires the department to consider petitions to allow use for more conditions, and those submitted earlier this year were the first.
Scientists and medical marijuana advocates have complained that research in this country has been stymied by a lack of a legal supply of marijuana.
The Arizona Medical Association's house of delegates voted in June to urge the state's congressional delegation to support having the National Institute on Drug Abuse make marijuana available for privately funded research.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)