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Originally published Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 7:07 PM

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State OKs medical marijuana for chronic kidney failure

The state has added chronic kidney failure to the list of conditions for which medical marijuana is permitted under state law but has rejected petitions to add Alzheimer's and neuropathic pain.

Seattle Times health reporter

The state has added chronic kidney failure to the list of conditions for which medical marijuana is permitted under state law but has rejected petitions to add Alzheimer's and neuropathic pain.

In approving chronic kidney failure, the state Medical Quality Assurance Commission said it was convinced that nausea caused by dialysis could be helped by marijuana. But it noted that using marijuana could also jeopardize a renal-failure patient's eligibility for transplant or have other adverse effects and that patients need to be informed of that when a provider authorizes them to use marijuana legally.

That petition was brought by Kenneth Lachman, a dialysis patient.

For neuropathic pain, the commission concluded that the term is so broad it might include some disorders that would already qualify, and others that don't. The request to include it was made by Dr. Sunil Aggarwal on behalf of the Cannabis Defense Coalition.

For Alzheimer's disease, the commission said there was insufficient scientific or anecdotal evidence to support the contention of Kemp LaMunyon Sr., an Eastern Washington medical-marijuana advocate, that it could help prevent the disease in humans.

For more information: www.doh.wa.gov/hsqa/medical-marijuana/default.htm.

Carol M. Ostrom: 206-464-2249 or costrom@seattletimes.com

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