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Health Highlights: May 30, 2014

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

House Supports State Medical Marijuana Laws

In a surprise move, the Republican-controlled House voted in favor of preventing the federal government from interfering with states that allow the use of marijuana for medical reasons. Medical marijuana is legal in nearly half the states.

The 219-189 vote early Friday was on a measure introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, the first state to legalize medical marijuana, the Associated Press reported.

"Public opinion is shifting," Rohrabacher said. "Despite this overwhelming shift of public opinion, the federal government continues its hard line of oppression against medical marijuana."

He pointed out that a recent Pew Research Center that found 61 percent of Republicans support medical marijuana. Support is even higher among Democrats and independents, the AP reported.

The measure now goes to the Democratic-controlled Senate.

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Obama Calls for More Youth Concussion Research

More research into youth sports concussion is needed in order to better understand he scope of the issue and the long-term impacts of this type of injury, President Barack Obama said Thursday at a day-long summit on the topic at the White House.

"We want our kids participating in sports," Obama said as he opened the event. "As parents though, we want to keep them safe and that means we have to have better information."

The summit included medical experts, young athletes, parents, coaches, professional sports league representatives and others, CBS News/Associated Press reported.

Additional research into youth concussions needs to be combined with a wider recognition of the need to take the issue seriously, the president noted.

"We have to change a culture that says, 'suck it up,' " Obama said.

He highlighted commitments from the National Institutes of Health, the National Football League and others to conduct research that could improve understanding and athlete safety, CBS/AP reported.

Posted: May 2014


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