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Feds Slam SF General Marijuana Study

KRON TV, February 12, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) -- Federal anti-drug officials are criticizing a study performed at San Francisco General Hospital which appears to show marijuana is effective in easing pain.

The State of California paid for the study in which 50 people with HIV tried to ease pain in their feet.  All of the patients got a cigarette.  Half contained marijuana grown at a Federal facility in Mississippi.  The other got a placebo that looked and smelled like pot but didn't contain the active ingredient of THC.

More than half of the pot smokers said their pain eased by a third or more.  Only one out every six of those with the fake pot felt better.  Researchers say this is a double-blind study that is much more accurate that earlier projects looking at medical marijuana.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy issued a statement criticizing the study.  Federal officials say the group was too small for definitive results.  They also worry patients will be harmed by smoking anything, whether it was the marijuana or the placebo.  Federal law bans medical marijuana.  Federal officials have long insisted pot has no legitimate medical value.