KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Researcher Says Cancer Cluster In Pennsylvania Tied To Nuclear Power Plants; California Court Strikes Down Medical Marijuana Limits

Today's state news round-up has reports on a thyroid cancer cluster in Pennsylvania and a ruling on medical marijuana in California.

Philadelphia Daily News: The eastern side of Pennsylvania has six of the 18 counties in the United States with the highest rates of thyroid cancer, according to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The entire state, which registered 12.8 cases per 100,000 residents, was first in the country in the number of thyroid-cancer cases. "Joseph Mangano, the executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project research group, said yesterday that he believes the spike in cancer is due to the high number of nuclear plants in the area. At a news conference at City Hall where thyroid-cancer survivors and physicians also spoke, Mangano said that within 100 miles of eastern Pennsylvania, 16 nuclear reactors are operating at seven nuclear plants, the highest concentration in the country" (Medina, 1/22).

The Associated Press/Seattle Times: "A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess. The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana." The legislature in 2003 modified that, saying a patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces" (Elias, 1/21).

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