Update 11:30 AM (EB): And here’s the report, which states that there’s “reasonable evidence that cannabis is a promising treatment” for some specific, pain-related medical conditions.
A program commissioned more than a decade ago by the state Legislature to look into the therapeutic value of medicinal marijuana is expected to release a report on its findings today, a spokeswoman for state Sen. Mark Leno said.
Leno, D-San Francisco, will join former Sen. John Vasconellos, who authored a bill that led to the establishment in 2000 of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, a scientific research program at University of California at San Diego.
SB 847, passed by the Legislature in 1999, was supported by former state Attorney General Dan Lungren and a coalition of state public safety and health organizations, according to Leno’s office.
The center has conducted clinical and pre-clinical trials of cannabis, including the use of smoked medical marijuana, to analyze whether it has any therapeutic value, and the final report on its research will be released Wednesday, Leno spokeswoman Ali Bay said.
Leno and Vasconellos will be joined by Igor Grant and J. Hampton Atkinson, two researchers at the center, as well as Dr. Barth Wilsey, a clinical professor with UC Davis Health System.
Leno is an advocate for the use of medical marijuana. In June, he introduced a resolution urging the federal government to end medical marijuana raids in California and called for federally funded research trials on its therapeutic use.
Medical marijuana has been legal under California law since voters approved Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, in 1996.
The state Legislature clarified in 2004 that the Compassionate Use Act allows qualified patients and their primary caregivers to cultivate marijuana for medicinal use.
Medical marijuana remains illegal under federal law, though, leaving patients and providers open to prosecution in federal court.