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March 17, 1999

Running Time: 1:03:05
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Marijuana's active components are potentially effective in treating pain, nausea, the anorexia of AIDS wasting, and other symptoms, and should be tested rigorously in clinical trials, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Such trials should be carried out in parallel with the development of new delivery mechanisms for the drug that are safe, fast-acting, and reliable, but do not involve inhaling harmful smoke. Moreover, clinical trials of marijuana use should be approved by institutional review boards, and should involve only short-term use among patients who are most likely to benefit from treatment.

John A. Benson Jr., Dean and Professor of Medicine Emeritus, Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine, Portland, and Stanley J. Watson Jr.,co-director and Research Scientist, Mental Health Research Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.