Health Highlights: Nov. 10, 2009

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:

U.S. Should Review Marijuana's Legal Status: AMA

The American Medical Association wants the U.S. government to review marijuana's status as an illegal drug, a move that's considered important by supporters of medical marijuana.

"This shift, coming from what has historically been America's most cautious and conservative major medical organization, is historic," Aaron Houston, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which seeks to reform U.S. marijuana laws, said in a news release. "Marijuana's Schedule I status is not just scientifically untenable, given the wealth of recent data showing it to be both safe and effective for chronic pain and other conditions, but it's been a major obstacle to needed research."

WHAT TO KNOW
    • U.S. Should Review Marijuana's Legal Status: AMA
    • Vets Struggle to Get Counseling/Substance Abuse Treatment: Survey
    • Scientists Weigh Boundaries For Human-Animal DNA Trials
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    • Maclaren Strollers Pose Amputation Hazard

Currently, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug that has no accepted medical use and is unsafe for use even under medical supervision. Heroin, LSD and PCP are among the other Schedule I drugs, MPP said.

On Tuesday, the AMA's House of Delegates adopted a new policy position urging "that marijuana's status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate delivery methods."

But the policy authors added that this new position shouldn't be regarded as an endorsement of state medical marijuana programs.

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Vets Struggle to Get Counseling/Substance Abuse Treatment

U.S. veterans face major barriers to getting mental health and substance abuse treatment, according to a survey released Tuesday by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare.

The findings come a year after the Veterans Mental Health Act was signed into law. The act requires the VA to partner with community behavioral health centers to increase capacity and expand mental health services to include marriage and family counseling.

The survey of council members across the United States identified problems that prevent veterans from getting treatment, including:

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