1

Testimony in Favor of HB 2610, Before The Kansas House
Health and Human Services Committee
March 17, 2010
by Paul Armentano
Deputy Director
NORML | NORML Foundation

I applaud the members of the House Health and Human Services Committee for holding
today’s ‘informational presentation’ on House Bill 2610, which seeks to shield qualified
patients who use marijuana therapeutically with a doctor's recommendation from criminal
prosecution. The physician-supervised use of medicinal marijuana is a scientific and
public health issue. It should not be held hostage by the concerns of law enforcement
personnel, politicians who wish to appear ‘tough on crime,’ or others who lack expertise
in the scientific arena.
Professionally, I have examined the science surrounding the medicinal use of marijuana
and its components since 1995, publishing more than 500 articles and white papers on the
subject and authoring the book: Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis &
Cannabinoids – A Review of the Recent Scientific Literature.
1
I have also served as a
consultant for British biotechnology firm GW Pharmaceuticals – the only company
legally licensed in the world to cultivate medical cannabis and perform clinical trials on
various preparations of oral spray cannabis extracts. These extracts are legally available
by prescription in Canada as well as on a limited basis in Spain and the United Kingdom
under the trade name Sativex.
2

Despite the ongoing political debate regarding the legality of medicinal marijuana,
scientific investigations of the therapeutic use of the plant and its compounds (known as
cannabinoids) are now more prevalent than at any time in history. This fact was summed
up by a recent review in the journal Medicinal Research Reviews, which concluded,
“Research on the chemistry and pharmacology of cannabinoids … has reached enormous
proportions, with approximately 15,000 articles on cannabis sativa” now available in the
scientific literature.
3
It is not hyperbole to assert that marijuana is arguably the most
studied plant on Earth.

1
Online version available at: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=7002
2
http://www.gwpharm.com/sativex.aspx
3
L. Hanus. 2009. Pharmacological and therapeutic secrets of plant and brain (end)cannabinoids. Medicinal
Research Reviews 29: 213-271.
2
And what have these studies taught us? In short, experts have concluded have that
marijuana may be used safely and effectively to treat a broad range of symptoms –
including neuropathic (nerve) pain, spasticity, nausea, incontinence, and decreased
appetite. In fact, just this year the results of a series of double-blind, placebo-controlled
trials assessing the safety and efficacy of inhaled marijuana reported that the drug
alleviated neuropathic pain and symptoms of multiple sclerosis in a manner that was as
good or superior to conventional pharmaceutical medications.
4

Further, emerging clinical and preclinical studies indicate that marijuana and its active
components may actually modify the course of various debilitating diseases. Of particular
interest, scientists are investigating marijuana’s capacity to moderate autoimmune
disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel
disease, as well as the substance’s role in the treatment of neurological disorders such as
Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease.)
Consequently many, if not most individuals in the scientific and health community
endorse legal access to the use of cannabis as medicine. Dozens of national and state
health care organizations -- including the American Public Health Association,
5
the
American Nurses Association,
6
and the AIDS Action Council
7
-- have enacting
resolutions backing patients' access to marijuana under a doctor's supervision. American
physicians are also supportive, with nearly half of all doctors with an opinion on the
subject supporting legalizing cannabis as a medicine, according to a recent national
survey published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases.
8

Most recently, the American Medical Association concluded in November, "Results of
short term controlled trials indicate that smoked cannabis reduces neuropathic pain,
improves appetite and caloric intake especially in patients with reduced muscle mass, and
may relieve spasticity and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis.”
9
The AMA resolved,
"[The] AMA urges 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

4
Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research. 2010. Report to the Legislature and Governor of the State of
California presenting findings pursuant to SB847 which created the CMCR and provided state funding. San
Diego, CA http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/CMCR_REPORT_FEB17.pdf
5
American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513: "Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis."
The resolution states, in part, that the APHA "encourages research of the therapeutic properties of various
cannabinoids and combinations of cannabinoids, and urges the Administration and Congress to move
expeditiously to make cannabis available as a legal medicine.
6
American Nurses Association, June 2003 Resolution: "The ANA will Support legislation to remove
criminal penalties including arrest and imprisonment for bona fide patients and prescribers of
therapeutic̘ marijuana/cannabis."
7
AIDS Action Council, "Resolution in Support of Access to Medical-Use Marijuana," adopted by the
Public Policy Committee of AIDS Action Council: November 15, 1996. The resolution states, in part, that
the Council "supports the elimination of federal restrictions that bar doctors from prescribing marijuana for
medical use by individuals with HIV/AIDS."
8
Charuvastra et al. 2005. Physician Attitudes Regarding the Prescription of Medical Marijuana. Journal of
Addictive Diseases 24: 87-93.
9
http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/AMA_Report.pdf
3
cannabinoid-based medicines.”
10

Fourteen states -- Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Michigan,
Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington --
have enacted laws protecting authorized medical cannabis patients from state
prosecution. According to a report by the federal General Accounting Office, these laws
are operating as voters and legislators intended and abuses by the public are minimal.
11

The goal of House Bill 2610 is not to sanction the use of marijuana by the general
population. Rather it is to protect patients and doctors who recognize that cannabis has
medical utility, and uphold the sanctity and privacy of the doctor-patient relationship.
State laws already allow the medical use of many controlled substances, such as cocaine
and morphine, which can be abused in a non-medical setting. Likewise, Kansas law
should also properly differentiate between medicinal cannabis and other controlled
substances. As opined by the New England Journal of Medicine, "[A]uthorities should
rescind their prohibition of the medical use of marijuana for seriously ill patients and
allow physicians to decide which patients to treat.”
12






# END #





Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director for the National Organization for the Reform of
Marijuana Laws (NORML), and is the co-author of the book Marijuana Is Safer: So Why
Are We Driving People to Drink? (Chelsea Green, 2009).

10
CBS News. November 11, 2009. AMA Calls for Feds to Review Marijuana Restrictions.
11
General Accounting Office. 2002. Marijuana: Early Experiences With Four States' Laws That Allow Use
For Medical Purposes. Washington, DC, page 4.
12
Editorial: "Federal Foolishness and Marijuana." January 30, 1997. New England Journal of Medicine
336: 366-367.
Health and Human Services Committee
Informational Presentation – Medical Marijuana Act
Wed. March 17
th
, 2010

Testimony in Support of HB2610

By Tom Ballard
Oral Testimony on Cannabis and Dependency
My name is Tom Ballard and I am a long time resident of Kansas. I am here to talk about
the issue of cannabis dependency.
As outlined in the written testimony, cannabis lacks the physical and psychological
dependence liabilities associated with most other substances. Fewer than 10 percent of those
who ever try cannabis ever meet the clinical criteria for “drug dependent” whereas 23 percent
of heroin users and 15 percent of alcohol users do meet the criteria. In fact, the majority of
cannabis users admitted to treatment were arrested for possession and ordered into treatment
as a condition of their probation. Prohibitionists disingenuously argue that these admissions to
treatment justify the need to maintain cannabis’s illegal status when in reality it appears to be
the policy and not the use that results in the commitment of cannabis users to treatment
centers.
Many other drugs which are legally available via prescription are substantially more
addictive than cannabis, but that does not constitute a logical rationale for denying their use for
legitimate purposes. Some of these drugs include methamphetamine, Ritalin, barbiturates,
Valium, morphine, OxyContin, and Darvon. Even recreational drugs such as alcohol and
tobacco—which pose a higher risk for dependence than cannabis, are legally available to adults
across the state.
A second issue I’d like to address is cannabis’s effect on driving. Cannabis intoxication appears
to play at most, a minor role in traffic injuries. While it is well established that alcohol consumption
increases motor vehicle accident risk, evidence of cannabis’s culpability in on-road traffic accidents is
mild by comparison. However, cannabis can alter driving performance as closed-course and driver
simulation studies have revealed minor impairments. As with alcohol or most over-the -counter cold
remedies, cannabis patients are best advised to abstain from operating a motor vehicle for several hours
after imbibing. As for public safety, there are currently laws in place to address impaired driving, and
any provision providing for the use of medical cannabis would not require the drafting of additional laws
to address the issue of driving under the influence of cannabis. Furthermore, allowing for the medical
use of cannabis would not result in an increase of impaired drivers inasmuch as cannabis is all ready in
widespread use despite being unregulated.
In closing I would like to state that to continue to deny Kansans access to medical cannabis on
the basis that patients could become addicted, or that it will result in an increase of impaired drivers is a
poor argument inasmuch as evidence points to the contrary.
Thank you.

Tom Ballard Written Testimony
Medical Cannabis and Dependency
Medical Cannabis opponents like to argue that more people are in treatment for
cannabis use than all drugs combined, but according to statistics up to seventy percent of
all Americans in drug treatment were ordered there by the criminal justice system
i
. More
than a third of those committed to treatment hadn’t even used cannabis in the thirty days
prior to entering treatment
ii
. Let’s also keep in mind that if an individual is arrested for
cannabis possession, they may be forced to choose between treatment and incarceration, so
their commitment may therefore be considered involuntary.
A number of reports, including one from the prestigious British Medical Journal, the
Lancet, have found that cannabis’s risk of physical dependence to be mild compared to most
other drugs, and two experts in the field- Dr. Jack E. Henningfield of the U.S. National
Institute on Drug Abuse and Neal L. Benowitz of the University of California, San Francisco,
reported to the New York Times that the addiction potential of cannabis was no greater than
that of caffeine.
iii

The relatively low risk of dependency was also affirmed by the nonpartisan National
Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, which published a comprehensive federal study
in 1999 assessing cannabis’s impact on health. The authors of the report determined that
marijuana dependence appears to be less severe than dependence on other drugs.
iv

According to the 267 page report, fewer than ten percent of those who try cannabis ever
meet the clinical criteria for a diagnosis of “drug dependence” (based on DSM-III-R criteria).
In comparison, 32 percent of tobacco users and 23 percent of heroin users, and 15 percent
of alcohol users meet the criteria for “drug dependence”.
v


Source: Jack E. Henningfield, PhD for NIDA, Reported by Philip J. Hilts, New York Times, Aug.
2, 1994 "Is Nicotine Addictive? It Depends on Whose Criteria You Use." See,
http://drugwarfacts.org/addictiv.htm
Dependence: How difficult it is for the user to quit, the relapse rate, the percentage of people
who eventually become dependent, the rating users give their own need for the substance and the
degree to which the substance will be used in the face of evidence that it causes harm.
Withdrawal: Presence and severity of characteristic withdrawal symptoms.
Tolerance: How much of the substance is needed to satisfy increasing cravings for it, and the
level of stable need that is eventually reached.
Reinforcement: A measure of the substance's ability, in human and animal tests, to get
users to take it again and again, and in preference to other substances.
Intoxication: Though not usually counted as a measure of addiction in itself, the level of
intoxication is associated with addiction and increases the personal and social damage a substance
may do.

The potential for patients to become dependent on cannabis is not a rational
argument to justify its prohibition inasmuch as there are currently numerous other
prescription drugs available with a much higher potential for dependence. Even alcohol and
nicotine, drugs which have no medicinal value, carry a higher risk for dependence than
cannabis, are legally available for purchase by adults in the state of Kansas.
Moreover, dependency is not usually a big concern for patients suffering from serious
or advanced diseases. Health care providers are already trained to identify and address
dependency issues with patients, and product labeling and signage at dispensaries or care
centers can be utilized to warn patients of the dependency potential.
Unfortunately there’s been an effort by medical cannabis opponents to skew
cannabis-related data as the prosecution, drug treatment, and drug testing industries have
a financial interest in it remaining illegal. Despite decades of misinformation and
propaganda concerning cannabis, Kansans are finally learning the truth.

i Jan Copeland and Jane Maxwell, “Cannabis Treatment Outcomes among Legally Coerced and Non-coerced
Adults,” BMC Public Health 7 (2007), open-access journal.

ii U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, 2006
Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS)—Highlights, http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/teds2k6highlights/tbl3.htm

iii Nutt et al., “Development of a Rational Scale to Assess the Harms Drugs of Potential Misuse,” Lancet, 369
(2007): 1047-53; Phillip Hilts, “Is Nicotine Addictive? It Depends Whose Criteria you use,” New York Times, August
2, 1994.

iv U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, Marijuana and Medicine: Accessing the Science Base
(Washington D.C., (1999).
v Ibid



Written Testimony of Kansan Anthony J. Buckland
In Support of House Bill 2610

Greetings to each Members of the Committee on Health and Human Services

I am just one of the Kansan that continues to send you folks medical updates, letters,
emails, as well as appearing in person before any and all of my State’s Congressional Hearings
regarding any legislation on the plant known as Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. Cannabis
basically has two distinct gnomes with in the species of Cannabis, one which grows into it’s full
potential at a savanna type landscape and the other set of gnomes which grows best at higher
elevations. My testimony here will not go into the history of cannabis nor the vast quantities of
published medical research that supports this House Bill 2610 and alike legislation, I’ll leave that
to the medical professional here today.
My testimony here today is directed at supporting this comprehensive medical cannabis
legislation, House Bill 2610, that should it be implemented it would benefit those patients
requiring it’s beneficial properties. We, Kansans can no longer live or function in the dark ages
of American Madness, our Kansas Legislative Body, this committee has a duty to enact
progressive legislation like HB 2610 which not only reflects good science and good medical
knowledge but represents the vast growing majority of the voting constituents regarding this
cannabis plant. How many, put a number to it as to how many voices, how many emails, how
many letters, how many times will we need to assemble before you before you can hear us and
make the changes we are requesting.
If the Kansas Congress can find the compassion within themselves to enacted this
legislation it will allow those who are sick to fine relief in using the Cannabis plant when other
medicines are not as effective. I have come to know this first hand, My wife Betty and I had a
sixteen year old daughter who recently died of cancer of the right pelvis bone. During her
intense months chemotherapy and radiation she had no non-narcotics choices available to her.
The narcotics prescribe to her put our daughter into a zombie like state they did not increase her
appetite, nor her quality of life. It appeared that when she entered zombie land she was less
aware of the pain. She stated that she would of like to have had the choice to use the cannabis
plant to increase her appetite, help her retain her meals, and help her with the pain without being
turned into a zombie. My wife and I would of broken the control substance laws without
question had she requested some Cannabis but she did not, she said, and I quote, “ I’m not going
to be labeled a criminal.” She wanted and was a good citizen, even in the end of life. As one
of her parents I was compelled to respect her inalienable right to choose while being painfully
aware that she would of benefitted from the medical properties of the Cannabis Plant. I knew


back then as I know today, as a parent and care giver that I would rather have a stoned, munchy
eating daughter that could conversed back and forth with her kinfolk and perhaps laughed a little
longer then a zombie. You and I will never know for sure to what extent she would of
benefitted from the medical properties of the Cannabis plant, she is gone. This is due to what
appears to be resistence of the present truth about Cannabis, or perhaps a lack of understanding
how we got here, and the refusal to correct or amend an enactment of past legislation that now
clearly goes against good sound science and medical practices as well as going against the voice
of the people. No our daughter was forced into a rigid medical and pharmaceutics model of
chemotherapy drugs, radiation and drugs to counter those treatments which produced an
expensive state of zombieness with a wide range of side effects to numerous to name here. She
was prescribing five anti-nausea drugs, these drugs had a side effect on her, they reduced her
desire to eat. She had five additional pain drugs prescribed to her which knock her out and also
reduced her desire to eat, just to name a few of the drugs used to counter the effects of her cancer
treatments. If she had been allowed the choice to use the properties of the cannabis plant it
could of replaced some very expensive and dangers medications. By expensive for instance she
had a prescription of 60 tablets of one medicine which cost $1894.36, requiring her to ingest 1
tablets every 6 hours, and another prescription containing 25 tablets at a cost of $927.20,
requiring her to take 1 tablet every 8 hours, and another 20 tablets of another medication at a cost
of $1359.59 in which she was required to ingested at a rate of 1 tablet every 12 hours. She
deserved compassion care, she deserved the right to choose elements best for her care, she is
gone now but there are many more like her, young and old who can benefit from the enactment
of this legislation.
Secondly and less important, by enacting this legislation Kansas would create more jobs
in side the State. Jobs would be created by the creation of certified compassion centers,
registered compassion center employees, processors, cannabis educators, and care givers to name
just a few. The processing of compassion center registration, inspections, and a renewal process
would further generate new revenues for the State of Kansas.
The State of Kansas can benefit by the enactment of this compassionate legislation in that
it will create additional state employment in the Kansas Department of Health and Environments
division as outlined in the submitted letter to this committed’s chair by the Kansas Director of
the Budget dated February 16
th
, 2010. In said Budget Director’s letter it indicates that it is
feasible to enact this legislation within KDHE and that KDHE could effectively administer a
meaningful medical use of cannabis program should congress see fit to past such legislation.
Enclosing I say this, this Congress invited me to it’s Congressional Halls to honor and
officially thanked me for my steadfast behavior and leadership in the flash flood event of the


early morning hours of October 5
th
, 2005 where I and my boat team rescued 7 people who would
of surely drowned in the fast moving waters. I then, like all fire fighters today put my life, my
liberty, and my happiness all on the line that day for the belief in our humanity, the idea that our
freedom, our nation’s welfare and safety of our people comes first. That these ideas are worth
risking all to maintain. So I ask this committee now to act with the same conviction in
humanity, which the same desire to serve the people not the position, I call on each of you to put
it all on the line and act with compassion, to learn what you do not know, to act with an informed
mind, and to respond to the requests of these people now assembled before this committee.

Thank you,
Anthony J. Buckland
Health and Human Services Committee
Informational Presentation – Medical Marijuana Act
Wed. March 17
th
, 2010

Testimony in Support of HB2610

By Dan Dawdy - Derivatives – Oral Presentation
Cannabis contains over 300 compounds. The primary focus of medical and scientific use of
cannabis centers around 60-plus cannabinoids. This can present researchers with a big
problem of isolating the effect of specific compounds and taking into account the interaction
of these compounds both complementary and/or cancelling. Various strains of medical
cannabis have different levels and ratios of the 60 cannabinoids, thus some strains work
better on pain, and some on inflammation, while others are ideal for tremors. This effect is
due to the various cannabinoids and their ratios to one another between various plant
strains.
Differences between medical cannabis and Marinol are many, the first being that Marinol is
just one synthetic compound compared to the 60 naturally-occurring cannabinoids in
medical cannabis. Secondly, Marinol must undergo a phenomenon known as "first-pass
metabolism," whereby the THC is absorbed from Marinol through the GI tract and
immediately carried to the liver before entering the general circulation. The liver alters the
(delta 9) THC into another compound, 11-OH-THC, which is highly psychoactive and
dysphoric.
In fact, experts on medical cannabis are nearly unanimous in their opinion that ingestion is
the wrong way to administer the active components in cannabis. In an extensive 2003
review, the medical journal, The Lancet Neurology, concluded, "Oral administration is
probably the least satisfactory route for cannabis."
The Institute of Medicine has made the same point regarding Marinol, the THC pill: "It is well
recognized that Marinol's oral route of administration hampers its effectiveness."
Cannabis contains 60-plus unique cannabinoids, and extensive research has already
documented that several play a role in control of pain, inflammation, spasticity and much
more. At least one of these, CBD, has been shown to moderate the unwanted psychoactive
effects of THC.
We don't stop at one headache pill or one cholesterol lowering drug. Why not? Same
reason: it doesn’t work for everyone, in every situation, or for every need. People respond
differently to different medications, and even the best drugs don't work for everyone;
patients and doctors need multiple options. It is simply cruel to criminalize a safe and
effective doctor’s recommendation.
I used to believe that cannabis was not medicine - it just made people not mind being sick.
Then I saw the medicine in action: an MS patient whose tremors almost stop completely;
patients get out of their beds, wheelchairs, and walk again; countless good people manage
pain and live a more productive life through the use of medicinal cannabis.
Please support this important legislation.
Health and Human Services Committee
Informational Presentation – Medical Marijuana Act
Wed. March 17
th
, 2010
Testimony in Support of HB2610

TYLER FEENEY’S PRESENTATION

1. THE PLIGHT OF THE LEGISLATOR
A. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…most of the public doesn’t understand that
B. Sometimes you have to vote against your personal beliefs
C. There’s always someone trying to snatch your spot in the Kansas House

2. VOTING FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA WILL GAIN YOU VOTES
A. It’s enacted in 15 states and the apocalypse hasn’t happened yet
B. That medical marijuana is making those states millions
C. Voting for medical marijuana is real “compassionate conservatism”
D. Voting for medical marijuana proves that a legislator isn’t owned by Phillip Morris,
Anheuser-Busch or the pharmaceutical industry
E. A vote for medical marijuana can serve as a “pre-emptive strike” against someone
trying to take your seat
F. Ron Paul has been talking about legalization for years…and it hasn’t hurt him
politically…quite the opposite! For all we know, he’s the next President of the U.S.

3. KANSANS DON’T LIKE THE GOVERNMENT DICTATING HEALTH CARE POLICY
A. Why do we still support the “nanny” state?
B. Some citizens might want to smoke or ingest actual marijuana instead of taking the
Marinol pill…and we don’t want to limit the voters’ health choices to simply insure that
money goes in the pharmaceutical companies’ pockets…Kansas needs that money and
Kansas needs it NOW!
C. Think about if YOU had cancer…and the government decides to arrest you for
smoking marijuana! How would that make you feel? Honestly?

4. WHY IS MARIJUANA ILLEGAL, ANYWAY?
A. The way the U.S. Congress outlawed marijuana is downright shocking
B. Racism and ignorance

5. OK TYLER, YOU’RE MAKING SENSE, BUT I’M STILL NOT SOLD ON IT YET
A. Won’t the distribution centers be a magnet for crime?
B. Is this just a back door scheme to legalize marijuana? Are we on a “slippery slope”?
C. What about the scientific studies that say marijuana is bad for you?

6. THE BOTTOM LINE
A. Turning a blind eye to the harmful effects of alcohol and tobacco (and taking money
from those industries) while shutting down medical marijuana is indefensible!
B. Voting against medical marijuana while cutting state employees’ pay, closing schools, and
letting the highways deteriorate is completely insane, it makes no sense whatsoever
C. It’s a win-win situation: you gain votes, you let sick people have their drug of choice, and
you generate badly needed revenue for Kansas. It’s the right thing to do!


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ǁŝƚŚ ƐŝŵŝůĂƌ ĚŝƐĂďŝůŝƚŝĞƐ͘
WŝƚŚ ŐƌĞĂƚ ĞŶƚŚƵƐŝĂƐŵ͕ l ƐƉŽŶƐŽƌĞĚ ƚŚŝƐ ďŝůů ďĞĐĂƵƐĞ l ŚŽŶĞƐƚůLJ ďĞůŝĞǀĞ ƚŚĂƚ ŝƚ ŝƐ ŽƵƌ ƌĞƐƉŽŶƐŝďŝůŝƚLJ ƚŽ
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AĐĐŽƌĚŝŶŐ ƚŽ ƚŚĞ ĨŝƐĐĂů ŶŽƚĞ ŽĨ ƚŚŝƐ ďŝůů͕ ƚŽ ŝŵƉůĞŵĞŶƚ ƚŚŝƐ ƉŝĞĐĞ ŽĨ ůĞŐŝƐůĂƚŝŽŶ ŝƚ ǁŽƵůĚ ƌĞƋƵŝƌĞ ϭϬ ĨƵůů ƚŝŵĞ
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ďĞŶĞĨŝƚ ƚŽ ƚŚĞ ƐƚĂƚĞ ŽĨ ΨϯϬϵ͕ϲϬϭ͘
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ŶĂƚŝŽŶǁŝĚĞ͘
l ƐƚĂŶĚ ďĞĨŽƌĞ LJŽƵ ƚŽĚĂLJ ƚŽ ŝŶ ƐƵƉƉŽƌƚ ŽĨ P8ϮϲϭϬ ĂŶĚ ƉƌĞƉĂƌĞĚ ƚŽ ĂŶƐǁĞƌ ĂŶLJ ƋƵĞƐƚŝŽŶƐ LJŽƵ ŵĂLJ ŚĂǀĞ͘
1ŚĂŶŬ LJŽƵ ĨŽƌ LJŽƵƌ ƚŝŵĞ͕ ŽƉĞŶ ŵŝŶĚĞĚŶĞƐƐ ĂŶĚ LJŽƵƌ ĐŽŶƐŝĚĞƌĂƚŝŽŶ͘
Health and Human Services Committee
Informational Presentation – Medical Marijuana Act
Wed. March 17
th
, 2010

Testimony in Support of HB2610


Phil Hornbeck
Oral testimony –

Madam Chairman, members of the Committee, I appreciate the opportunity
to support HB 2610 here today.
I’m Phil Hornbeck. Today I’m presenting testimony on behalf of Dr. Jon
Hauxwell, who could not attend due to a family emergency.
Dr. Hauxwell is a retired Family Physician, whose background includes work
in clinical pharmacology, pain management, chemical dependence treatment, and
ethno botany. He has supervised a Federal government pharmacy, chaired a multi-
disciplinary chemical dependence treatment team, and served on the Kansas
Citizens’ Committee on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse.
Cannabis denialists rely on a derisive catch phrase, “medical excuse
marijuana.” Apparently we are to believe that the tens of thousands of people who
can attest to the unique benefits of cannabis therapy when other drugs have failed,
are simply deluded, or faking. This is cruel and cynical. One wonders how many of
these patients the denialists have actually interviewed, and by what criteria they
dismissed these affirmations as crazy or deceitful. These patients deserve
compassion, not derision.
As a licensed physician, I could legally prescribe or administer
methamphetamine, cocaine, morphine, Oxy-Contin, and barbiturates. There are
indeed some people who seek to divert these drugs for abuse. Doctors must be
vigilant, and sometimes we get fooled.
But we as a society have made a commitment: The abusers don’t get to call
the shots. They will not be allowed to deprive legitimate patients of the right to the
treatment they need.
There are a variety of hormones and chemicals that help regulate bodily
function. They can be produced within, or outside, the body. When they exert their
effects, they don’t just soak into our cells. Complex molecules called “receptors”
festoon cell surfaces. Regulatory chemicals bind to these receptors like a key fits a
lock. When they do, they gain access to cell function, which they can then modify in
a variety of ways.
Cannabinoids are molecules found in cannabis, and also produced within the
body. Cannabinoid receptors are found in nearly every organ and tissue type, which
bespeaks their profound and pervasive role in human physiology. It is not at all
surprising that the 60 – 80 different cannabinoids which occur naturally in cannabis
can offer a variety of ways to benefit health. These molecules do not act in isolation,
but as an ensemble. Different cannabis strains have differing amounts and
proportions of these cannabinoids, which influence different cannabinoid receptors
in differing ways and degrees. A given cannabis strain might be most active
controlling pain, while another could affect nausea or spasticity.
Health and Human Services Committee
Informational Presentation – Medical Marijuana Act
Wed. March 17
th
, 2010

Testimony in Support of HB2610


It is biologically plausible – and demonstrable – that cannabis safely offers a
wide variety of benefits for health, benefits which have already been discovered and
applied by patients across the world, and over centuries.
Denialists maintain that even if cannabis does treat a variety of medical
conditions, it is unnecessary because these conditions can be treated with currently
available drugs.
However, these drugs often have side-effects more disabling than cannabis,
or don’t work well for some individuals. If these drugs are already adequate, we
could make at least two predictions: One, no other new drugs will ever be
introduced to treat the conditions cannabis can treat, because they too would be
“unnecessary.” And two, no cancer patient will ever again tell her oncologist “I’m
not going to take any more radiation and chemo. I know what that means, but I’d
rather die than go through that again.”
If no reasonable person would bet on those two prospects, it’s unlikely that
current drugs per se render cannabis unnecessary.
Thank you for your consideration.
Health and Human Services Committee
Informational Presentation – Medical Marijuana Act
Wed. March 17
th
, 2010

Testimony in Support of HB2610


By Susan Hughes

Dear Kansas Health & Human Services Committee:

My name is Susan Hughes, and I live at 61 Angelina Drive in Augusta, Kansas. I am here today in support
of House Bill 2610. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis more than 22 years ago, and it is only with
the grace of God that I am doing so well today.

I have read much on the pros and cons of the use of marijuana as medicine and have wanted to discuss
the possible benefits of this drug with my physician Dr. Donna Sweet of the Kansas University School of
medicine, Wichita. Dr. Sweet informed me that she can not discuss the use of marijuana because the
state of Kansas does not consider it medicine. She informed me that all she could say is that marijuana is
illegal and if I were to get caught with possession, I could be arrested and placed in jail. She continued
by saying that too many of her patients were in jail for that very reason. And she concluded by
saying that if she were to discuss marijuana as medicine, she could lose her job, and she needs her job.
I told her I need her as a doctor, so we do not mention marijuana during my visits.

After being prescribed Oxycodone and Morphine Tablets for the continuous pain I am experiencing, I
started doing research on marijuana as medicine. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society released an
Expert Opinion Paper in March of 2009 "Recommendations Regarding the use of Cannabis in Multiple
Sclerosis". The Executive Summary in part states "In addition to their effects on MS systems, it now
appears that cannabinoids may reduce neuronal damage and thereby could limit disease progression."

This caught my attention.

The MS Society concludes that although it is clear that cannabinoids have potential both for the
management of MS symptoms such as pain, and spasticity, as well as for neuroprotection, the Society
cannot at this time recommend that medical marijuana be made widely available. This decision was not
only based on existing legal barriers to its use, but because more studies are needed. They ended by
saying this situation might change, should better data become available.

The National MS Society is funded in part by large U.S. Government Grants. That being said, I have
developed some strong opinions about the National MS Society's relationship with the large
pharmaceutical companies and their agreement with the government assistance programs, but that is a
discussion for a different time.

Health and Human Services Committee
Informational Presentation – Medical Marijuana Act
Wed. March 17
th
, 2010

Testimony in Support of HB2610

I agree, more studies must be done but until the FDA reviews the American Medical Associations
November 2009 new policy position calling for a review of marijuana's status as a schedule I drug in the
federal Controlled Substances Act, nothing will be done. And in the mean time, I am getting worse
everyday.

The AMA's revised policy states, "Our AMA urges 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."

On October 19, 2009 U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sent a memorandum to all United States
Attorneys announcing formal guidelines for federal prosecutors in states that have enacted laws
authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The federal Government is acknowledging the
medical benefit of marijuana. I understand that until the FDA acts on this, the Federal Government is
not going to move any further.

The current active ingredients of marijuana that are available are in such drugs as Marinol, the pill
containing THC. Marinol is classed as a Schedule III, whose looser requirements allow phone in
prescriptions. The FDA considers pure synthetic THC that is manufactured by a pharmaceutical company
not to be dangerous. But the natural weed marijuana is a schedule I drug and therefore considered as
harmful as Heroin. I do not know about Heroin, but I have smoked Marijuana before, and I personally
have not had any ill side effects.

I did speak to my doctor about synthetic THC found in Marinol but she said that it is prescribed for
those with a loss of appetite found in patients with such diseases as Cancer. MS patients would not find
relief from Marinol.

I have become emotional about Kansas adopting Compassionate Care legislation. I believe that elected
state officials should have a balance of common sense and emotion. I have seen such emotion in the
laws such as Jody's law, Magnums law, and the death penalty. Let's not even mention the emotions
involved in the abortion issue. Emotions were involved in passing all of those laws.

It is emotional when dealing with seriously ill patients, many with end of life issues. The emotion that
needs to be considered is compassion. This is what I have always expected from my elected officials.

I recently read a quote in the Wichita Eagle by Representative Brenda Landwehr that said "It may seem
like a simple thing, but every time you turn around, they keep nibbling away at individual freedoms."
Representative Landwehr was speaking about seat belt laws and not medicine for seriously ill
patients, but the individual freedoms are the same. I ask that I am given the same freedom to speak to
my doctor about considering the use of marijuana as medicine, like 14 other United States have
Health and Human Services Committee
Informational Presentation – Medical Marijuana Act
Wed. March 17
th
, 2010

Testimony in Support of HB2610

allowed.

Please pass HB 2610.

Susan L. Hughes
61 Angelina Drive
Augusta, Kansas 67010




Testimony on HB 2610: Medical Marijuana Act
Informational Presentation on Medical Marijuana
Kansas Health and Human Services Committee

Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 1:30pm, Rm 784, Docking Office State Building

Submitted By:
Brian Leininger
Former Assistant District Attorney, Kansas City, KS
on behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
(www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com)

Committee members, thank you for allowing me to testify at this informational presentation
concerning the Medical Marijuana Act.

My name is Brian Leininger. I am a resident of Kansas. Over the course of my career, I spent
fourteen years in Kansas fighting the war on drugs, first as an Assistant District Attorney in
inner-city Kansas City, then as General Legal Counsel to the Kansas Highway Patrol, and then
as a part-time City Prosecutor for a suburb of Kansas City. My time spent prosecuting drug
users and combing the highways for drug shipments, much of which I see as a major
misallocation of resources, led me to be here representing Law Enforcement Against
Prohibition, an organization of current and former members of the law enforcement in
criminal justice communities nationwide who are speaking out about the failures of our
existing national drug policies. I am here today representing over 16,000 members and
supporters of LEAP.

As a former officer, I know that the voice of police is crucial in the dialogue about drug policy.
But in the case of medical marijuana, physicians, caregivers, and patients are the ones who
should be making decisions about medical care. It is inappropriate for the police to substitute
our judgment for that of physicians and those in need of the care of physicians.

One area where law enforcement is qualified to speak regarding medical marijuana is in the
area of public safety. Seriously ill patients need to have access to adequate amounts of
marijuana, pursuant to their doctor’s recommendation, so that they do not need to search for
that medicine in the streets, risking their safety and benefiting illicit drug dealers. Patients who
cannot cultivate their own medicine need state-regulated, nonprofit facilities as a secure and
safe place to access medicine. Forcing patients to go into the streets to buy marijuana benefits
the criminal element and threatens patient safety.

When I worked as a prosecutor, I witnessed the inordinate amount of time police spend
chasing down marijuana users and executing search warrants to recover a few grams of
marijuana. Protecting patients from arrest not only keeps the patients safe but keeps the public
safe by freeing up officers’ time and resources, as well as prison space, for attention to violent
crime.

We urge you to pass HB 2610, protecting seriously ill patients from the harsh penalties and
prison time they would otherwise face just for accessing medicine recommended by their
doctor.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jack A. Cole
Executive Director – Medford, MA
Peter Christ
Vice Director – Syracuse, NY
James Gierach
Secretary – Chicago, IL
Tony Ryan
Treasurer – Tucson, AZ
James Anthony
Oakland, CA
Stanford “Neill” Franklin
Baltimore, MD
Maria Lucia Karam
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Terry Nelson
Dallas, TX
Jerry Paradis
British Columbia, Canada
ADVISORY BOARD
Senator Larry Campbell
Former Mayor of Vancouver, Canada
and Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Libby Davies
Member of Canadian Parliament
British Columbia, Canada
General Gustavo de Greiff
Former Attorney General of
Colombia, South America
Judge Warren W. Eginton
US District Court, CT
Governor Gary E. Johnson
Former Governor of New Mexico
Judge John L. Kane
US District Court, CO
Sheriff Bill Masters
Sheriff, San Miguel County, CO
Chief Joseph McNamara
Retired Chief, San Jose PD, CA
Chief Norm Stamper
Retired Chief, Seattle PD, WA
Eric Sterling, Esq.
President, Criminal Justice Policy
Foundation, Washington, DC
Judge Robert Sweet
US District Court, NY
Mr. Hans van Duijn
Retired Chair of Nederlandse Politie
Bond, Netherlands
Chief Francis Wilkinson
Former Chief Constable, Gwent, South
Wales, UK
Health and Human Services Committee
Informational Presentation – Medical Marijuana Act
Wed. March 17
th
, 2010

Testimony in Support of HB2610



Debby Moore
PO 48258, Wichita, Kansas, 67201,
Phone 316 524 6001, food@hempforus.com

Thank you for the opportunity to address this distinguished committee.

Data Research Base: http://www.hempforus.com

I absolutely love this plant we know as Cannabis Hemp. I eat it. I wash my hair in it, I smooth my skin
with the lotions made from it, I wear it in clothing, make my bed with the linens from it, build my house
to be strong with its fibers. I love this plant.

I am bio chemically engineered to receive this plant. All human beings have cannabinoid receptors in the
base of their brains. This receptor when favorably stimulated, releases a chemical called Anandamide,

All human beings have cannabinoid receptors in their spleens, our first line of defense against disease.

All male beings have cannabinoid receptors in their testes, birds, fish, sea urchins, and human beings. I
wrote a paper in 1995 on the correlation of hemp eradication, and increased occurrence of prostate
cancer. One acre of hemp produces 40 pounds of pollen. Since 1937, by state, by country, the cannabis
plant has been destroyed from habituating the planet. Prostate cancer has been on the increase during
these years.

I am so lucky to learn to love the nutty taste of the hemp seed at a young age. I have been fortunate to
consume a quarter of a cup of these wonderful seeds every day of my adult life. Originally in the 1980’s,
I purchased the hemp seeds as bird food, from Hillside Feed & Seed in Wichita Kansas. I toasted the
hemp seeds, grinding them into flour to enrich my diet.

Hemp Seed is perfect nutrition for the human body. 33% Omega 3 & 6, essential fatty acids. Consuming
these fabulous linolenic, linoleic, gamma linolenic Unsaturated fatty Oleic acids, has provided my body
with the building blocks for cell membranes and hormones and are my body’s way to store energy.

Doctors recommend diets rich in linolenic, linoleic, gamma linolenic, essential fatty acids to treat, Acne,
Cardiovascular Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoporosis, PMS and Menopause, Multiple Sclerosis,
Arteriosclerosis. Diabetes.
Health and Human Services Committee
Informational Presentation – Medical Marijuana Act
Wed. March 17
th
, 2010

Testimony in Support of HB2610


By David Mulford

Madam Chairman and members of the committee:

My name is David Mulford, I'm a 51 year old resident of Hutchinson, Kansas living with
several major medical conditions which have proven to be not only excruciatingly painful and
potentially deadly: but difficult to treat as well. I currently hold a prescription for Marinol and
have used this as well as Herbal Cannabis for pain relief and muscle spasm control for over 20
years, and thus find myself in a position to help you understand what I have experienced; in the
hopes that you will not allow others to be forced to endure what myself and many others like me
have.
Initially, muscle spasms began which lasted longer and were stronger than any I'd
ever experienced before, and over the years intensified further despite a rather extensive array of
diet, lifestyle and medication modifications and trials. Eventually the spasms intensified until one
day in 1991, I was taken by ambulance to the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson,
Arizona where I was diagnosed with Cardio-Vascular Spasmic Angina and directed to begin
sleep studies and medication trials through my HMO, which I did. Although we made progress at
times, little relief without the use of strong muscle relaxers had much effect on the spasms: yet
when taking them, the side effects prevented me from working and made me extremely difficult
to live with, while taking what seems like eternity to begin to work in the first place. I'd found
out a few years earlier, while the spasms were still relatively mild and quite by accident, that
when I smoked a joint while the spasm was still in what I call the "tingly" stage, the spasms went
away. I decided to try Herbal Cannabis at this time and found that, although not perfect, and
presented its' own side effects although mild; the results far exceeded anything I've tried before
or since with far less resultant pain.
In December of 1996 however, I was arrested in Butler County with one ounce of
Marijuana and was subsequently sentenced to 22 months in prison which I served at EDCF,
completing every program I could, and using my time while incarcerated to not only make
myself a better person, but to better understand why I made bad choices in order to not repeat my
mistakes. By all accounts I have succeeded, yet I acknowledge there is never an end to the
process. Along the way, I also became a staunch advocate of the war on drugs and remain so
today, while helping others when possible with their own issues. One of the things I learned was
that anything can be a "slippery slope to addiction": food, prescription drugs, alcohol, sex or
anything we fixate on and use to excess can be a slippery slope, and care must be taken to
prevent oneself from allowing anything to take control of their lives and create imbalance.
Should we then outlaw food to keep people from becoming obese? It doesn't make much sense,
but then from my position neither does making medicinal marijuana illegal.
Health and Human Services Committee
Informational Presentation – Medical Marijuana Act
Wed. March 17
th
, 2010

Testimony in Support of HB2610

Upon my release I found employment and quickly made my way to the top before the
problems with my spasms finally became so intense and lasted so long, that they left me in
extreme pain and completely exhausted, unable to move for extended periods; praying for it to
stop. In addition, a heaviness in my legs that had first become an issue in 1991 was getting worse
and it was becoming harder and harder to walk very far without stopping, with more and more
leg pain daily. It was then that my medical condition deteriorated to the point that a trip to the
Urgent Care Center indicated an emergency condition existed and had to be dealt with
immediately as my Aorta had failed. An Aortic/Bi-Femoral Bypass was performed which saved
my life in March of 2001, but left me with another issue: my own mortality, when my surgeon
came to my room in the presence of my friends and advised me that in his opinion, based on
what he experienced during my surgery, that I should consider "getting my affairs in order" as he
wasn't confident in my being around more than 18 months. I was devastated and spent the next
two years fighting both my physical and mental issues while learning to live with 4 extremely
large Hernias which present problems of their own. During this time, although I knew Cannabis
would help me, I couldn't allow myself to use it because it's illegal and I had no desire to return
to EDCF. I gutted it out until a friend advised me that I might want to ask my Doctor about
Marinol, which resulted in my initial prescription. Although not nearly as effective as Herbal
Cannabis due to its' single molecule design, it does have some benefits with no more serious side
effects than Herbal Cannabis, which are mild, and it currently has a place in my treatment plan.
Recently my condition has deteriorated however, the spasms are stronger than ever at times and
my Aorta is failing again, but I have been advised that I am not currently a good candidate for
another replacement. I hope to change that, but only time will tell.
I take exception to those individuals who profess their knowledge of the efficacy of
Medicinal Cannabis, yet use the term "faker" or say that I'm using my condition as an excuse to
get "high". Is it an excuse to wish that I could legally use a substance that I know works better
than anything else I've ever tried, without the side effects that come with them? Or are these
Hernias, the spasms, the PAD, my failing Aorta, the Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea, my severe
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both hands and my Diabetes with all its' problems...or are they real
and constant issues I deal with every day...you bet. Is there any doubt in your mind that I could
walk into virtually any Doctors office in the state and leave with a legal prescription for just
about anything I wanted? Not in mine, I've been offered, and I have the medical records to
substantiate it.
Now that the AMA recently reversed its' long standing position on Medical Marijuana,
now that we have the recently released CMCR reports, now that we have study after study
showing the efficacy and possible new uses for Medicinal Marijuana, there no longer exists
a factual, scientific reason why we shouldn't legalize Medicinal Cannabis and we would be
making a huge mistake by not joining the 27 other states that either already have or are currently
pending legislation to make Medicinal Cannabis available to those who demonstrate the need.
It is with my deepest regrets that I find myself now asking you to consider the merits of
HB2610 and review the information contained within the studies and reports that have been
provided to you, as I have no wish to be in the forefront on this issue; I'm just an average guy
Health and Human Services Committee
Informational Presentation – Medical Marijuana Act
Wed. March 17
th
, 2010

Testimony in Support of HB2610

that has worked extremely hard running businesses and raising a family who found himself with
some really tough health issues. I believe that with what we know today, we can agree to
discuss HB2610 and to that end I offer any and all assistance I might provide. Thank you.

Sincerely,
David Mulford
Dan Riffle, Legislative Analyst, Marijuana Policy Project.
Testimony to the Health and Human Services Committee regarding HB 2610
Good afternoon Chairman Landwehr and members of the committees.

I’d like to first thank you for the opportunity to address you today regarding this
important and compassionate legislation. I’d also like to thank Rep. Finney for having the
courage and conviction to propose this compassionate legislation.

Rather than spending my brief time documenting the vast evidence in support of
marijuana’s medical efficacy in treating certain conditions, such as it’s ability to relieve
pain and nausea or stimulate appetite in chemotherapy patients, I will let the thousands of
patients who’ve been afforded relief in recent years, and the 14 existing state medical
marijuana laws under which they’ve done so, speak for themselves.

Instead, I’d like to take just a few moments to address some of the concerns your likely to
hear from the few people still in favor of arresting and prosecuting people who follow
their doctor’s orders and use medical marijuana to treat their illnesses.

First, this bill will not provide increased business for drug dealers. Instead, by providing
patients with safe, above-ground access to their medicine, this bill provides an alternative
to illegal distribution and reduces demand for drug trafficking.

Second, when properly regulated, dispensing centers will be limited in number, and can
be expected to be responsible members of the business community that contribute to local
economies; not the magnets for crime opponents will accuse them to be. Only in
California and Colorado – states that have refused to regulate distribution – have we seen
more than a handful of dispensaries. New Mexico by contrast, which passed a law in
2007 that provides for an unlimited number of state-regulated dispensaries, today has
only five such facilities. And as for the allegations of associated crime, even in Denver
and Los Angeles – places opponents cite as hotbeds of dispensary-related crime – recent
studies by local law enforcement show the actual incidents of on-site crime to be lower at
medical marijuana outlets than area banks or pharmacies.
Attached: John Ingold, Analysis: Denver pot shops’ robbery rate lower than
banks’, Denver Post, January 27, 2010
Attached: Tony Castro, LAPD chief: Pot clinics not plagued by crime, January 16,
2010.

It’s also worth noting that in states with well-regulated medical marijuana programs like
the one called for in this bill, those enrolled have been the seriously ill patients for whom
the legislation was intended, and the number of patients who receive recommendations to
use marijuana has also remained limited in number. For example, in Vermont, where a
law allowing doctors to recommend the medical use of marijuana passed in 2004, there
are less than 200 patients enrolled in the program today. New Mexico’s law has been in
effect for nearly 3 years and there are only about 1000 patients enrolled in that state’s
program, most of whom have been diagnosed with either cancer, post-traumatic stress
disorder, or HIV/AIDS. There’s no reason to think Kansas’ experience will be altogether
different.

Dan Riffle, Legislative Analyst, Marijuana Policy Project.
Testimony to the Health and Human Services Committee regarding HB 2610
Next, nothing in this bill will change existing state laws regarding the use of marijuana
for non-medical purposes, or laws regarding driving under the influence of marijuana. As
with other medications, patients will be told not to drive or operate heavy machinery
while under the influence of their medicine. This system works with all other
medications, and there’s no reason based on the experience of 14 other states to think that
medical marijuana will be any different.

Finally, there’s no reason to think protecting seriously ill patients from arrest sends any
message to children other than compassionate treatment of sick people. In none of the 14
states that have enacted medical marijuana laws for which data is available have we seen
an increase in marijuana use by teens. To the contrary, marijuana use has gone down
across the board – more than 50% in some states – strongly suggesting that medical
marijuana laws have no effect on the use of marijuana by young people.
Complete data available at http://www.mpp.org/research/teen-use-report.html.

In closing, I want to again thank Rep. Finney for introducing legislation which offers
doctors an additional resource to be utilized, and offers patients suffering from
debilitating illnesses like cancer or HIV/AIDS some small measure of compassion and
understanding. I hope that these patients see this bill get the up-or-down vote they
deserve, and that the members of these committees support this sensible legislation.

Thank you for your time,


Dan Riffle
Legislative Analyst
Marijuana Policy Project
Medical Marijuana Access:
Models of State Regulation of Dispensing

States with existing medical marijuana laws and those considering new medical
marijuana laws are increasingly including provisions to allow well-regulated distribution.
Lawmakers are realizing it is impractical and inefficient to require patients to cultivate their own
medicine or to find an individual caregiver to do so. A patient stricken with cancer cannot afford
to wait three months for a seed to turn into usable marijuana.

On October 19, 2009, the U.S. Attorney General’s office issued a written policy of not
targeting those “in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the
medical use of marijuana,” opening up new possibilities for states to allow well-regulated
dispensing of medical marijuana. This followed up on similar comments from President Obama.
Prior to this shift in federal policy, only California and Colorado had dispensaries, and neither
state has state registration requirements or regulations. Also of note, on November 10, 2009, the
American Medical Association, traditionally the most cautious and conservative medical
association in the country, reversed its long-held position and issued new policy guidelines
encouraging the federal government to review marijuana’s status as a Schedule I controlled
substance.

In January 2009, New Mexico became the first state to allow the regulated distribution of
marijuana to patients. In June, the Rhode Island legislature enacted a similar law to add
“compassion centers” to its existing law. In addition, on November 3, nearly 60% of Maine
voters approved an expansion of that state’s medical marijuana program, adding dispensaries to
the existing law. New York and New Jersey may also pass comprehensive medical marijuana
bills this year, and several other states considered bills in 2009 that would have allowed medical
marijuana dispensing. Both the New Hampshire and Minnesota legislatures passed medical
marijuana bills with distribution in 2009, but both bills were vetoed. The New Hampshire bill
came only two votes shy of a veto override. This memo provides an overview of the different
state models that allow dispensing.


Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s law, and bills proposed in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, allow a set
number of dispensaries throughout the state, give the health department broad latitude in setting
security and record-keeping regulations, and also contain specific security requirements. In this
model, patients can only obtain marijuana from the centers they designate, and the amount of
marijuana that can be grown is tied to the number of patients.

Pursuant to its law, Rhode Island will allow three dispensaries to operate within the state.
The New Hampshire and Massachusetts bills also prescribe a set number of dispensaries, but they
also would allow their health departments to register additional dispensaries if the number that
was initially allowed is not sufficient to meet patient needs.
1
In these three state laws or
proposals, the health department decides which applicants to grant registrations to. In doing so, it
must consider factors such as patients’ access to marijuana throughout the state, the dispensary’s
security plans, and the applicants’ history operating a non-profit or business. The departments are
also tasked with inspecting the dispensaries.

1
The Massachusetts bill has not yet been amended to include dispensaries, but amendments are drafted and
will be submitted to do so. This refers to the amendment that is anticipated.

These laws include specific security requirements for the dispensaries, including that
each staffer must register with the state and undergo a background check. In addition, each
dispensary must have a security alarm system and cultivate any marijuana in an enclosed, locked
area. The department is also charged with creating security, oversight, and recordkeeping rules
which dispensaries would be required to comply with. The dispensaries would pay an application
and a licensing fee, as well as a fee for each staffer. In New Hampshire’s bill, the fees would be
set by the health department and would have to be sufficient to cover the costs of administering
the program. In Rhode Island’s law and Massachusetts’ bill, the application fees are $250 and
registration fees are $5,000.

In this model, the centers must operate on a not-for-profit basis, and they must either
grow their marijuana on-site or at a separate, registered location that has to be part of the center.
The amount of marijuana they can possess is limited and is based on the number of patients who
have made it their designated dispensary. However, the New Hampshire and Massachusetts bills
would allows dispensaries to start off with a set amount of plants and marijuana because patients
are unlikely to designate the center until they are able to provide medicine, which cannot be done
until they’ve had a chance to grow, process, and package.

All three provide restrictions on some or all people with drug convictions. In Rhode
Island, only those convicted of drug felonies are excluded. Center registrations are valid for two
years, unless they are revoked or suspended for misconduct. Beginning 60 days before the
registration would expire, the centers could reapply. In all three states, the license would not be
renewed if it had been suspended or if an inspection raised serious issues.

Each of the three provides a cap on how much marijuana can be obtained in a given
period of time. In Rhode Island, dispensaries are not allowed to dispense more than 2.5 ounces of
marijuana to a patient in a 15-day period. They also could not be located within 500 feet of a
school in any of the three states. In all three, a report would be created periodically with
information such as patients’ access and the efficacy of the compassion centers, both individually
and in combination, in serving the needs of the states’ patients. In Rhode Island, the report would
be produced by a legislative oversight committee, which would include patients and medical
professionals.

Rhode Island’s full text available at:
http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/Lawrevision/plshort/pl2009nu.htm

New Hampshire’s full text available at:
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2009/HB0648.html

Massachusetts’ proposal is not yet publicly available.


Maine

In November, with the support of 59% of Maine voters, Question 5 passed, making
changes to the state’s medical marijuana law, including allowing for regulated non-profit
dispensaries. Like the other New England bills and law, patients may only go to the dispensaries
they designate and the dispensaries would need to be non-profit. The major difference between
Maine’s new law is that the initiative does not specify a number of dispensaries. Instead,
localities can enact reasonable caps and regulations on the number and the state would register all
dispensaries that comply with any such local laws and which meet the state requirements.

As is the case in the other New England proposals, the department of health can set
security, oversight, and recordkeeping rules which dispensaries are required to comply with.
Dispensaries are subject to inspection following reasonable notice. The dispensaries are also
required to cultivate the marijuana in an enclosed, locked facility. They each pay a $5,000
registration fee. The department must grant a license to any applicant who has not been found
guilty of a felony drug offense, provided they supply the information and fee required. Each
staffer must register with the state and also cannot have a felony drug conviction.

Registrations can be suspended and revoked for misconduct and dispensaries are allowed
six plants per patient. Dispensaries are not permitted to dispense more than 2.5 ounces of
marijuana to a patient in a 15-day period and must not be located within 500 feet of a school.

Full text available at:
http://www.mainepatientsrights.org/Petition%20MEDICAL%20MARIJUANA.pdf


New Mexico

The provisions of New Mexico’s medical marijuana law that relate to dispensing are very
brief and leave a great deal of discretion to the department of health. Under the department’s
rules, licensed producers must be non-profit private entities. Their board of directors must include
a physician and three registered patients, whose identities are all confidential. Everyone
associated with the producer must undergo a background check.

The producers must keep a photo copy of each patient’s ID card who receives marijuana
from the producer and an employment contract and personnel record for each employee. They
must also have training on patient confidentiality, professional conduct, and informational
developments in medical marijuana, as well as how to respond to an emergency. Applicants to be
producers pay a nonrefundable $100 fee. They cannot be located within 300 feet of a school, and
cannot provide volume discounts. They must provide information to the department, including
potential side effects patients could experience and a sample of how they will notify patients of
the marijuana’s quality. Clients and the department have access to the non-profit’s confidential
records. Applicants also have to describe their security policies, procedures and crime prevention
techniques.

Licensed producers in New Mexico are limited to 95 mature plants and seedlings. The
number of licenses issued is at the discretion of the department and is based on need. As of
October 2009, one applicant is up and running. In September, the only dispensary ran out of
medical marijuana due to the low cap on plants and the inadequate number of operating
dispensaries. The department said it expects to license additional producers shortly.

For producer requirements, see: http://www.nmhealth.org/marijuana.html


New York

New York’s twin medical marijuana bills base its distribution system on the state law for
prescriptions, but with changes that are necessary given federal law. The state health department
would register both registered producers, who could only produce marijuana, and “registered
organizations,” which would be allowed to both produce and dispense marijuana for medical use.
Pharmacies and county health departments could qualify as a “registered organization,” but they
are very unlikely to try to do so until federal law changes. Thus, to ensure the bill provides
access, it also lets non-profits operate as registered organizations.

Registered organizations could dispense marijuana to any patient who presents the
organization with a registry ID card. They would be required to keep a receipt of the dispensing,
and provide one to the patient or caregiver who received the marijuana. For patient
confidentiality, all records would be kept using the patient’s medical marijuana ID number. They
would also have to provide a safety insert about methods of administering medical marijuana,
potential dangers, and how to recognize problematic usage.

The applicant would be required to provide information that its managing officers are of
good moral character, that it has enough property to operate a registered organization, that it will
comply with state laws, and that it can maintain effective control over diversion. If the
department is satisfied of all of that, and that the granting of the license is in the public interest, it
must grant the registration. The health department will determine the registration fee.
Registrations are generally valid for two years. When applying for a new license, the applicant
must include any known or alleged incident of theft, loss, or diversion.

The bill is available at: http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A09016&sh=t


California

It is estimated that more than 1,000 dispensaries operate in California. The state does not
have any state registration or regulation for them. State law says that patients and their caregivers
cannot be prosecuted under a number of laws, including sales laws, solely for, “collectively or
cooperatively … cultivat[ing] marijuana for medical purposes.” It also says that it does not
“authorize any individual or group to cultivate or distribute marijuana for profit.” California
Attorney General Jerry Brown issued guidelines for collectives in August 2008, saying that if
they comply with the guidelines, any “properly organized and operated collective or cooperative
that dispenses medical marijuana through a storefront may be lawful under California law.”

Cities and counties have taken a varied approach on what exactly is allowed under state
law and how to respond to it. At least 30 cities have set up regulations and issued business
licenses to dispensaries. It in other areas, such as San Diego County, prosecutors and local law
enforcement have targeted storefront dispensaries, claiming they are illegal. Recently, the L.A.
County prosecutor claimed that sales from storefront dispensaries are illegal. In addition, 120
cities have issued bans and 73 have moratoria in place. Cases challenging some of those
restrictions are being litigated. There is widespread agreement among lawmakers in other states
that are considering medical marijuana that California’s vague model should not be followed.

California’s medical marijuana laws, SB 420 and Proposition 215, along with the AG guidelines,
are available at:
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/MMP/Pages/Medical%20Marijuana%20Program.aspx


Colorado

Although a handful of dispensaries existed in Colorado by mid-2008, the number has
increased since President Obama announced the change in federal policy. There is no explicit
recognition of dispensaries in state law, so they do not provide for any regulation or registration.
However, the state’s law allows for caregivers to provide marijuana to patients, and does not cap
the number of patients that can be served by a single caregiver. Caregivers must be 18 or older
and have "significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient." An August 2009
department rule defined that as including “provision of medical marijuana.”

Colorado’s law does not require dispensing to be non-profit.

Several cities have begun to move to regulate and in some cases ban the operation of
dispensaries. Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, in addition to issuing an opinion declaring
sales of medical marijuana to be a taxable revenue source, has called on the legislature to pass
regulations and Sen. Chris Romer has said he would introduce legislation to regulate them in
2010. Cities that have moved to regulate dispensaries include Silverthorne, Frisco, and
Breckenridge.

Given the unpopularity of Colorado’s lack of regulation even among many Colorado
policymakers, it is best not to follow that model. In addition, it is difficult to be in “clear and
unambiguous” compliance with a vague and ambiguous law, thus increasing the possibility of
federal raids on providers.

Colorado’s medical marijuana laws and administrative rules are available at:
http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/hs/medicalmarijuana/resources.html


Arizona

Arizona voters are expected to vote in November 2010 on a medical marijuana proposal
that allows non-profit, regulated dispensaries. The proposal would allow patients to obtain
marijuana from any of the state-regulated and registered dispensaries. The dispensaries would
have access to a database to confirm patients’ ID cards and enter how much marijuana they
dispense to a patient. Patients could not receive more than 2.5 ounces in 14 days.

The department of health must grant a registration to any applicant who has not been
found guilty of a felony drug offense, provided they provide the information and fee required, are
in compliance with any local zoning regulations, provide operating procedures that are consistent
with department regulations, and adequately provide for security and recordkeeping. Each staffer
must register with the state and also cannot have certain felony convictions.

The department of health would set security, oversight, and recordkeeping rules which
dispensaries would be required to comply with. The dispensaries would also be required to
cultivate the marijuana in an enclosed, locked facility and to have an operational security alarm
system. Cities and towns could enact reasonable zoning regulations on where dispensaries could
operate. They each would pay a registration fee of no more than $5,000 and an annual renewal
fee of no more than $1,000. Dispensaries would be subject to inspection following reasonable
notice. Since patients are not tied to dispensaries, the initiative does not specify how much
marijuana can be grown and possessed by the dispensaries.

Registrations can be suspended and revoked for misconduct at dispensaries. Dispensaries
could not be located within 500 feet of a school.

The full initiative is available at: http://stoparrestingpatients.org/home/initiative


Conclusion

When regulated responsibly, medical marijuana dispensaries provide a safe, reliable
means of access to patients who might otherwise be forced to purchase supplies from
underground markets, or be denied doctor-recommended medication altogether. These model
experiments have shown that despite fears to the contrary, dispensary systems can be
implemented with no adverse impact on crime rates, access to marijuana for underage or
unverified users, or state budget concerns.

Given the growing volume of scientific evidence documenting the various diseases and
conditions for which marijuana has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment, it is
imperative that states courageous enough to take the lead on medical marijuana enact laws that
provide safe and adequate access. While the California model has shown there is a wrong way to
administer medical marijuana programs, other states such as Rhode Island and New Mexico have
shown that, rather than leaving sick and frail patients to their own imaginations, flexible and well-
crafted laws and regulations can provide patients safe access to needed medication in a manner
that does not further strain state budgets.


COMPASSION IS NOT A PARTISAN IDEOLOGY

Compassion encompasses all people from across the entire political spectrum. Compassion
crosses all demographics and party lines. The desire to provide comfort and relief to the sick
and dying should not be based on party affiliation.


William F. Buckley
Founding editor of the conservative National
Review magazine (see the attached column)

Seven of 10 Republican members
of the New Mexico Senate
Voting in 2007 to make New Mexico
the 12th medical marijuana state


George P. Schultz
Secretary of the Treasury under
President Nixon and Secretary of State
under President Reagan

The late Sen. William Mescher
Republican sponsor of South Carolina’s 2007
medical marijuana bill




The late Lyn Nofziger
Press Secretary for President Reagan,
publicly supported medical marijuana
legislation

Rep. Tom Trail
Republican Dr. Trail will introduce a medical
marijuana bill in Idaho this session

Richard Brookhiser
Conservative writer and columnist, publicly
supports medical marijuana legislation
57 Republican members of the New
Hampshire House of Representatives
Voting on October 28, 2009

Quic kTime ™ a n d a
d ec o mp re s so r
a re n ee d ed to s e e th is p ictu r e.



John J. Dilulio Jr.
Former director of President George W. Bush's
White House Office of Faith-Based and
Community Initiatives
Republicans Maryland Senator David
Brinkley, Minority Leader Allan Kittleman,
and Minority Whip Nancy Jacobs
The prime sponsor and co-sponsors of
Maryland’s medical marijuana bill


On the Right - Peter McWilliams, R.I.P.
William F. Buckley Jr., National Review, 7/17/2000
NEW YORK, JUNE 20
Peter McWilliams is dead.
Age? 50.
Profession? Author, poet, publisher.
Particular focus of interest? The federal judge in California
(George King) would decide in a few weeks how long a
sentence to hand down, and whether to send McWilliams to
prison or let him serve his sentence at home.
What was his offense? He collaborated in growing
marijuana plants.
What was his defense? Well, the judge wouldn't allow him
to plead his defense to the jury. If given a chance, the
defense would have argued that under Proposition 215,
passed into California constitutional law in 1996, infirm
Californians who got medical relief from marijuana were
permitted to use it. The judge also forbade any mention that
McWilliams suffered from AIDS and got relief from the
marijuana.
What was he doing when he died?
Vomiting. The vomiting hit him while in his bathtub, and he
choked to death.
Was there nothing he might have done to still the impulse to
vomit? Yes, he could have taken marijuana; but the judge's
bail terms forbade him to do so and he submitted to urine
tests to confirm that he was living up to the terms of his
bail.
Did anybody take note of the risk he was undergoing? He
took Marinol, a proffered, legal substitute, but reported after
using it that it worked for him only about one-third of the
time. When it didn't work, he vomited.
Was there no public protest against the judge's ruling?
Yes. On June 9, the television program 20/20 devoted a
segment to the McWilliams plight. Commentator John
Stossel summarized: "McWilliams is out of prison on the
condition that he not smoke marijuana, but it was the
marijuana that kept him from vomiting up his medication. I
can understand that the federal drug police don't agree with
what some states have decided to do about medical
marijuana, but does that give them the right to just end-run
those laws and lock people up?"
Shortly after the trial last year, Charles Levendosky, writing
in the Ventura County Star, summarized: "The cancer
treatment resulted in complete remission." But only the
marijuana gave him sustained relief from the vomiting that
proved mortal.
Is it being said, in plain language, that the judge's obstinacy
resulted in killing McWilliams?
Yes. The Libertarian party press release has made exactly
that charge. "McWilliams was prohibited from using
medical marijuana – and being denied access to the drug's
anti-nausea properties almost certainly caused his death."
Reflecting on the judge's refusal to let the jury know that
there was understandable reason for McWilliams to believe
he was acting legally, I ended a column in this space in
November by writing, "So, the fate of Peter McWilliams is
in the hands of Judge King. Perhaps the cool thing for him
to do is delay a ruling for a few months, and just let Peter
McWilliams die." Well, that happened last week, on June
14.
The struggle against a fanatical imposition of federal laws
on marijuana will continue, as also on the question whether
federal laws can stifle state initiatives. Those who believe
that marijuana laws are insanely misdirected have a martyr.
He was a wry, mythogenic guy, humorous, affectionate,
articulate, shrewd, sassy. He courted anarchy, at the moral
level. His most recent book (his final book) was Ain't
Nobody's Business If You Do. We were old friends, and I
owe my early conversion to word processing to his
guidebook on how to do it. Over the years we corresponded,
and he would amiably twit my conservative opinions.
When I judged him to have gone rampant on his own
individualistic views in his book, I wrote him to that effect.
I cherish his reply: nice acerbic deference, the supreme put-
down.
"Please remember the Law of Relativity as applied to
politics: In order for you to be right, at least someone else
must be wrong. Your rightness is only shown in relation to
the other's wrongness. Conversely, your rightness is
necessary for people like me to look truly wrong. Before
Bach, people said of bad organ music, 'That's not quite
right.' After Bach, people said flatly, 'That's wrong.' This
allowed dedicated composers to grow, and cast the
neophytes back to writing how-to-be-happy music. So,
thank me for my wrongness, as so many reviews of my
book will doubtless say, 'People should read more of a truly
great political commentator: William F. Buckley Jr.'"
Imagine such a spirit ending its life at 50, just because they
wouldn't let him have a toke. We have to console ourselves
with only the comment of the two prosecutors. They said
they were "saddened" by Peter McWilliams's death. Many
of us are; by his death and by the causes of it.

http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_14206441
LAPD chief: Pot clinics not plagued by
crime
By Tony Castro, Staff Writer
Updated: 01/16/2010 03:10:08 AM PST

Despite neighborhood complaints, most medical marijuana clinics are not typically the
magnets for crime that critics often portray, according to Los Angeles police Chief
Charlie Beck.
"Banks are more likely to get robbed than medical marijuana dispensaries," Beck said at a
recent meeting with editors and reporters of the Los Angeles Daily News.
Opponents of the pot clinics complain that they attract a host of criminal activity to the
neighborhoods, including robberies. But a report that Beck recently had the department
generate looking at citywide robberies in 2009 found that simply wasn't the case.
"I have tried to verify that because that, of course, is the mantra," said Beck. "It doesn't
really bear out."
In 2009, the LAPD received reports of 71 robberies at the more than 350 banks in the
city, compared to 47 robberies at medical marijuana facilities which number at least 800,
the chief said in a follow up interview, in which he provided statistics from the report.
Beck said he had asked for a comparison of robberies at the two types of businesses
because of the growing public outcry -- as the City Council debates tighter restrictions on
clinics -- that those facilities have become an increasing target for crime.
He said he thought a comparison of banks and medical marijuana dispensaries was
appropriate because of their similarities as potential targets -- both have large sums of
cash and are often heavily fortified.
The statistics do not include crime at ATM machines, bank outlets in markets or crimes
committed on the property surrounding banks or medical marijuana dispensaries.
He also acknowledged that banks report all their robberies to authorities, while some
medical marijuana facilities may not.
"This is just a snapshot, a statistic. It doesn't reflect quality of life issues, it doesn't reflect
the things the public complains about (regarding) medical marijuana locations," Beck
said. "It does give you some idea of (what the) level of crime is."
Many community activists believe there is a connection between the growth of medical
marijuana dispensaries and the rise of crime in their neighborhoods.
"We expect that to be the case, especially if they're not controlled and regulated
properly," said J.J. Popowich president of the Winnetka Neighborhood Council, which
boasts of having helped shut down a dispensary on Vanowen Street last year.
Popowich said he is not against the existence of medical marijuana dispensaries so long
as they are tightly regulated and located outside residential communities.
A spokesman for Americans for Safe Access, a statewide advocacy group for medical
marijuana clinics, said his group does not believe claims linking dispensaries with
increases in crime.
"The issue of whether they are magnets for crime is centered largely around exaggerated
claims by law enforcement officials that excessive crime exists in the first place and these
facilities are the source for it," said ASA spokesman Kris Hermes.
"Our own research in a number of cities has found quite the opposite to be true."
While Beck does not believe most dispensaries are magnets for crime, he does believe
medical marijuana clinics should be subject to increased scrutiny and regulation.
He would like to see the number of clinics citywide limited to about 75. He also would
like dispensaries to be required to disclose the names of their patients, although he said
specific medical conditions could be withheld for privacy reasons.
Medical marijuana advocates oppose such disclosures.
"We're very concerned about local government's ability to have direct, unfettered access
to patient records," Hermes said. "Allowing only access to names is better than allowing
access to addresses, phone numbers and medical conditions. But even (turning over)
names should not be done without a subpoena."
Beck said another statistic to be considered in the debate over medical marijuana
dispensaries is that last year the LAPD served 39 search warrants at dispensaries and
made 60 arrests, most for unlawful sales.
"The bottom line is that this all speaks to the fact (dispensaries) need to be regulated," he
said. "That's why I support the (city) council coming up with their regulations."
The number of medical marijuana facilities in Los Angeles, and particularly the San
Fernando Valley, has exploded since 2007. For months the City Council has been
debating a new ordinance to restrict their locations near schools and homes. One possible
proposal could eliminate most small dispensaries, leading to only a few "big-box" pot
stores in isolated industrial areas.
Councilman Dennis Zine said the council has not fully completed drafting an ordinance
but that the disclosure of medical marijuana dispensary members continues to be an issue.
"We know (there is) a lot of abuse," Zine said. "Everyone admits there is, even the
dispensaries. We need to make sure there isn't abuse -- that the people who go (to
dispensaries) aren't just using a ruse to get high.
"So we need some kind of verification of their membership and their legitimacy as
clients."

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_14275637
Analysis: Denver pot shops' robbery rate
lower than banks'
By John Ingold
The Denver Post
A Denver Police Department analysis estimates that medical- marijuana dispensaries in the city were
robbed or burglarized at a lower rate last year than either banks or liquor stores.
The analysis — contained in a memo authored by Division Chief Tracie Keesee for Denver City Council
members — finds that the projected robbery and burglary rate for storefront dispensaries in 2009 was on
par with that of pharmacies.
The analysis is the first time Denver police have sought to compare crime at dispensaries with that at other
businesses, and it represents a best-guess at a crime rate for the city's rapidly evolving dispensary industry.
Denver police spokesman John White said he didn't want to speculate on the bigger meaning of the
numbers until the department can do a more thorough analysis.
But the memo comes as welcome news to medical-marijuana advocates, who have sought to convince state
and local officials that dispensaries are not crime magnets.
"It sounds anecdotally about right," said Matt Brown, with the pro-dispensary group Coloradans for
Medical Marijuana Regulation. ". . . Occasionally they happen. (Dispensaries) are by no means immune to
crime. But they're far more manageable than some of the public outrage would lead you to believe."
Police departments in other parts of the state — and in other states as well — have reported spikes in
medical-marijuana-related crime coinciding with increases in the number of dispensaries in their
communities.
Denver police statisticians arrived at the estimated crime rate for dispensaries by looking at the total
number of burglaries or robberies reported at storefront dispensaries in 2009 — eight — and projecting
what that number would have been had all the dispensaries operating in Denver at the end of the year been
open for the full year.
The figures do not include medical-marijuana-related crimes that occurred outside storefront dispensaries
— such as robberies of medical-marijuana delivery services or home-based caregivers. Previously, Denver
police officials have said there were at least 25 medical-marijuana-related robberies or burglaries in the city
in the last six months of 2009.
The projected 16.8 percent burglary and robbery rate for dispensaries is equal to that of pharmacies. It's
below the 19.7 percent rate of liquor stores and the 33.7 percent rate for banks, the analysis found.
State Sen. Chris Romer, a Denver Democrat who has been working to create regulations for Colorado's
medical-marijuana system, said the numbers show that crime at dispensaries should not be ignored.
But he said it also shows that the crime rate is not so high as to necessitate the banning of dispensaries,
which one proposal floating around the state Capitol would effectively do.
Mnu¡)un×n Usv sv You×o Pvov¡v:
The Impact of State Medical Marijuana Laws

By
Karen O’Keefe, Esq.
Assistant Director of State Policies
Marijuana Policy Project,
Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
University at Albany, State University of New York,
and
Bruce Mirken
Director of Communications
Marijuana Policy Project
Updated June 2008, by Zane Hurst, M.P.A.
Legislative Analyst
Marijuana Policy Project
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The debate over medical marijuana laws has included extensive
discussion of whether such laws “send the wrong message to young
people,” thus increasing teen marijuana use. This is the first report to
analyze all available data to determine the trends in teen marijuana use in
states that have passed medical marijuana laws.
More than a decade after the passage of the nation’s first state medical
marijuana law, California’s Prop. 215, a considerable body of data shows
that no state with a medical marijuana law has experienced an increase
in youth marijuana use since their law’s enactment. In fact, all states
have reported overall decreases — exceeding 50% in some age groups
— strongly suggesting that enactment of state medical marijuana laws does
not increase teen marijuana use.
In California — which has the longest-term, most detailed data available — the number of ninth
graders reporting marijuana use in the last 30 days declined by 47% from 1996 (when the state’s medical
marijuana law passed) to 2006. An analysis commissioned by the California Department of Alcohol and
Drug Programs found “no evidence supporting that the passage of Proposition 215 increased marijuana
use during this period.”
In Washington state (which passed its law in 1998), sixth and eighth graders’ current and lifetime
marijuana use has dropped by more than 50% since the 1998 enactment of the state’s medical marijuana
law. All other surveyed grade levels have seen both lifetime and current marijuana use drop significantly
as well.


P.O. Box 77492, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC 20013
Phone: 202-462-5747 Fax: 202-232-0442 www.mpp.org info@mpp.org

Teen Marijuana Use in California Before and After Passage
of Medical Marijuana Initiative
(By Grade Level)
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In Hawaii and Nevada (both passed laws in 2000), youth marijuana use has decreased among all
surveyed grade levels — by as much as 53% in Hawaii (11
th
graders’ current use) and 50% in Nevada
(10
th
graders’ current use).
Data from Montana suggest a modest decline overall since the 2004 passage of Montana’s law. Data from
Alaska (which passed its law in 1998) show an overall decrease in marijuana use, and decreases in most
individual grade levels. Data from Oregon (whose law passed in 1998) suggest fairly significant declines
in marijuana use among the two grades surveyed in 2007. Data from Vermont (which passed its law in
2004) show an overall decline in use, as well as declines at all surveyed individual grade levels. Colorado
(which passed its law in 2000) is the only state without an in-depth statewide survey; the limited data
available suggest a modest decrease in Colorado teens’ marijuana usage.
In Rhode Island, (which passed its law in January 2006), current and lifetime youth marijuana use have
decreased since the law passed. New Mexico, which enacted a medical marijuana law in April 2007, has
not yet produced statistically valid data covering the period since its laws were passed.
Nationwide, teenage marijuana use has decreased in the 11 years since California enacted the country’s
first effective medical marijuana law. Overall, the trends in states with medical marijuana laws are more
favorable than the trends nationwide. California and Washington have seen much greater drops in
marijuana usage than have occurred nationwide. Overall, Nevada’s, Hawaii’s, and Colorado’s trends are
also more favorable than nationwide trends, though some individual measures are less favorable. The
Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey found greater declines in Maine teens’ marijuana use than
occurred nationally, but comparing two different surveys suggests national declines that are somewhat
sharper than declines among Maine’s adolescents. The drop in high schoolers’ marijuana use in Vermont
and Rhode Island is slightly better than the national drop. In Montana, current use has not dropped quite
as quickly as the national drop, but teens’ lifetime use has decreased more than the national average.
Most of the trends in Oregon are slightly less favorable than nationwide trends, although teen use is still
down overall.
Conclusions and Recommendations:
When states consider proposals to allow the medical use of marijuana under state law, the concern often
arises that such laws might “send the wrong message” and therefore cause an increase in marijuana use among
young people. The available evidence strongly suggests that this hypothesis is incorrect and that enactment
of state medical marijuana laws has not increased adolescent marijuana use. Consequently, legislators should
evaluate medical marijuana proposals based on their own merits — without regard for the speculative and
unsupported assertions about the bills sending the “wrong message.”
Methods and Data Sources:
Nearly every state that has enacted a medical marijuana law has conducted surveys on adolescent marijuana
use both before and after their medical marijuana laws were enacted. We analyzed publicly available data from all
such surveys considered statistically valid by the agencies that performed them.
OVERVIEW
Since 1996, 12 states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico,
Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington — have passed laws allowing the use of marijuana for medical
purposes. Eight of these were enacted via voter-approved ballot measures, while Hawaii’s, Vermont’s, Rhode
Island’s, and, most recently, New Mexico’s laws were passed by their legislatures. (The District of Columbia
passed a similar ballot initiative in 1998, but due to congressional action, the law hasn’t been implemented.) In
addition, medical marijuana legislation was considered during the 2007 legislative sessions of at least 26 state
legislatures.




One argument consistently raised in opposition to such measures is that they “send the wrong message to
young people,” encouraging teen drug experimentation. For example, in an October 1996 letter to anti-drug
advocates, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator Thomas A. Constantine wrote, “How can we
expect our children to reject drugs when some authorities are telling them that illegal drugs should no longer
remain illegal, but should be used instead to help the sick? … We cannot afford to send ambivalent messages
about drugs.”
Such arguments continue to be raised by opponents of medical marijuana laws. In June 2005, Rhode Island
Gov. Donald Carcieri (R) explained his veto of a medical marijuana bill in part by arguing that the measure would
“place our children at increased risk of abusing marijuana.” That same month, U.S. Representatives Mark Souder
(R-Ind.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) raised the “wrong message” concern during a floor debate on medical marijuana
in the U.S. House of Representatives. Similarly, in June 2007, Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Reil (R) explained in her
veto statement of a medical marijuana bill, “I am also concerned that this bill would send the wrong message to
our youth.”
In 1996, the issue of whether these laws would impact teen marijuana use was an open question: Both sides
made assertions, but neither had concrete data for support. Now, more than 11 years after the passage of the first
medical marijuana initiative, California’s Prop. 215, a considerable body of data exists. No state with a medical
marijuana law has experienced an overall increase in youth marijuana use since the law’s enactment. All have
reported overall decreases — in some cases exceeding 50% in specific age groups — strongly suggesting that the
enactment of state medical marijuana laws does not increase teen marijuana use.
METHODOLOGY
All of the data in this report is from state and federal government surveys of drug use by young people. The
most well-known of these are the annual Monitoring the Future study, conducted by the University of Michigan
under contract with the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Survey on Drug Use and
Health (NSDUH) — formerly called the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) — conducted
by the Research Triangle Institute and sponsored by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration. However, state-specific data were not available for all 50 states from NHSDA/NSDUH until
1999, so before-and-after data are not available for many states with medical marijuana laws. Even in the cases
where such data are available, the NSDUH has determined that the state-level “estimates for 2002 and later
years [are] not comparable with prior years” and “the relative rankings of States may have been affected” due to
methodological changes.
1
Furthermore, the NSDUH’s state samples are very small and NSDUH reports the 12- to
17-year age range as a block, rather than breaking down specific ages or grade levels.
Many states — including California, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, and Washington — conduct detailed state-level
surveys with methodology similar to NSDUH, but they use far larger samples within each state. We have included
all relevant data from such surveys where available.
Also of interest is the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS), conducted by many (but not all) states in
conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The YRBS has produced data for several
individual states, including Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Because some surveys are conducted only every other year, and because of the time needed to collect and
process data, New Mexico — the state with the newest medical marijuana law — has not yet released results
covering the period since their laws were enacted. Nevertheless, enough data are available now from the 11 other
medical marijuana states to draw conclusions.
1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, “2002-2003 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH):
State By State Model Based Estimates,” Appendix A: State Estimation Methodology.
Data were located through Internet searches and federal and state government agencies. In each case, we
have reviewed all publicly available data from national and statewide teen drug use surveys, including the most
recent figures available as of this writing, June 2008. The only results omitted from the analysis are from surveys
in which the only available data are “unweighted.” This occurs, for example, when school-based surveys are
unable to enroll a broadly representative sample of a state’s school population, meaning that the results cannot be
considered statistically valid for the statewide youth population.
Most of these surveys ask whether participants have used drugs in the last 30 days (considered “current use”)
and ever in their life. Washington changed the wording of its question regarding lifetime drug use in the 2000
survey, but it restored the old language in 2002. Other methodological changes were also made in 2002, including
the time of year when surveys were administered. Oregon made substantial changes in the methodology of its
2001 survey, which makes it more difficult to draw firm conclusions across time.
As with all polls and surveys, the surveys analyzed for this report have a statistical margin of error. (Hawaii
is the exception because its data is from a census sampling that was given to all public school students whose
parents returned consent forms.) The margin of error ranges from 0.3% to 9.5% (the margin of error data was not
available for Washington state in 1998 and 2000 or for California’s surveys).
Statements from those raising the “wrong message” concern have often been vague as to whether they believe
the harm comes from actual implementation of medical marijuana laws or from the public discussion stimulated
by the campaigns. Because many of their statements (including that of the DEA administrator cited above) focus
on public discussion, and because the campaigns for the state laws produced intense debate and media coverage,
we have focused on the date of enactment as the key time-point in before-and-after comparisons.
NATIONWIDE DATA
Since California voters enacted Prop. 215, the debate over it and similar proposals has been covered widely
on national television and radio, as well as in local and national newspapers and magazines, including USA
Today’s front-page story on Prop. 215’s passage; the New York Times’ 1999 front-page story on the Institute of
Medicine’s report on the medical use of marijuana, and many others. If medical marijuana laws “send the wrong
message” to children, this widespread attention would be expected to produce a nationwide increase in marijuana
use, with the largest increase in those states enacting medical marijuana laws. But just the opposite has occurred.
Since 1996, Monitoring the Future surveys show 50%, 30%, and 14% decreases in eighth, 10
th
, and 12
th

graders’ current marijuana use, respectively.
2
Regarding lifetime use, it shows a 39% drop in eighth graders’ use,
a 22% decline in 10
th
graders’, and a 7% decrease among 12
th
graders.
3
The biennial national YRBS shows similar
trends, with a 20% decrease in high schoolers’ current marijuana use since 1995 and a 9.4% decrease in their
lifetime use. It found decreases in every measure in every high school grade level since 1995, except 12
th
graders’
lifetime marijuana use, which shows a slight increase.
4
As the state-by-state section of this paper will discuss, as a
whole, the medical marijuana states’ teen use trends compare favorably to nationwide trends.
The Monitoring the Future survey randomly samples approximately 120 high schools nationally for 12
th
grade
data, surveying about 15,000 students annually. For its survey of eighth graders each year, approximately 17,000
students from 140 randomly selected schools are surveyed annually. For the 10
th
graders, approximately 130 high
schools are sampled, and about 15,000 students are surveyed annually. The national YRBS uses a three-stage,
cluster sample design to obtain a nationally representative sample of students in grades nine through in the
United States. Approximately 13,950 surveys were completed in 2005, 10,200 in 2003, 9,900 in 1999, 11,220 in
2. “Monitoring the Future: National Results on Adolescent Drug Use 2007,” Table 3.
3. Ibid., Table 1.
4. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Youth Online: Comprehensive Results,” available at <http://apps.nccd.
cdc.gov/yrbss/SelQuestYear.asp?Loc=XX&cat=3>.
1997, and 6,540 in 1995.
As will be seen below, states enacting medical marijuana laws have been slightly more successful than the
nation as a whole at reducing adolescent marijuana use.
STATE-BY-STATE DATA
CALIFORNIA (medical marijuana initiative passed November 5,
1996)
As the first state to pass an effective medical marijuana law,
California provides the longest period to evaluate such a law’s effect on
teen marijuana use. California officials were concerned enough about
the “sends the wrong message” theory to commission a special analysis
examining this issue.
The biennial California Student Survey (CSS), conducted by the
California attorney general’s office, provides some of the most detailed
information on teen drug use trends in any single state. It measures
three grade levels’ weekly, monthly, and past-six-month marijuana use.
The pre-Prop. 215 survey (1995-1996) was based on the responses of
5,775 students, while the most recent survey (2005-2006) was based on
responses from about 10,635 students. In the years prior to the 1996
passage of Prop. 215, the CSS charted steady increases in marijuana use by California teenagers in all surveyed
grades — seventh, ninth, and 11
th
graders. That period of increase ended in 1996, with CSS data showing a
clear, swift downward trend since Prop. 215 passed on November 5, 1996. For all grades, marijuana use dropped
markedly by every measure between early 1996 and 2006. Among ninth graders, current use dropped by nearly
half.
7
th
grade weekly: 11% decrease since late 1995/early 1996 (from 1.9% to 1.7%)
9
th
grade weekly: 53% decrease since late 1995/early 1996 (from 12.3% to 5.8%)
11
th
grade weekly: 38% decrease since late 1995/early 1996 (from 16.5% to 10.2%)
7
th
grade past 30 days: 24% decrease since late 1995/early 1996 (from 6.2% to 4.7%)
9
th
grade past 30 days: 47% decrease since late 1995/ early 1996 (from 23.6% to 12.6%)
11
th
grade past 30 days: 26% decrease since late 1995/ early 1996 (from 25.9% to 19.2%)
7
th
grade past six months: 33% decrease since late 1995/early 1996 (from 10.9% to 7.3%)
9
th
grade past six months: 45% decrease since late 1995/early 1996 (from 34.2% to 18.7%)
11
th
grade past six months: 30% decrease since late 1995/early 1996 (from 42.8% to 29.8%)
7
th
grade lifetime: 28% decrease since late 1995/early 1996 (from 10.9% to 7.9%)
9
th
grade lifetime: 36% decrease since late 1995/early 1996 (from 35.0% to 22.3%)
11
th
grade lifetime: 19% decrease since late 1995/early 1996 (from 46.9% to 38.2%)
5
California teens’ marijuana use rates since 1995 compare favorably to national numbers. Of the national
surveys measuring teen marijuana use, only the YRBS surveyed some of the same grades as the CSS — ninth
and 11
th
. While the YRBS found decreases in youth marijuana use, the decreases were not nearly as sharp as
5. California Office of the Attorney General, “Eighth Biennial California Student Survey,” Tables 5 and 9; California Office of the Attorney General,
“11th Biennial California Student Survey,” Tables 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.8, and 2.12.
Teen Marijuana Use in California Before and After Passage
of Medical Marijuana Initiative
(By Grade Level)
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California’s decreases. The YRBS estimates a 9.4% decrease in ninth graders’ lifetime marijuana use since 1995.
In the same time period, lifetime marijuana use has decreased by 36% among California ninth graders. Ninth
graders’ past 30-day marijuana usage has decreased by 47% in California, but by only 20% nationwide.
6
(See
Appendix for side-by-side comparisons of national data and data in each medical marijuana state with before-
and-after data.)
California saw so much concern about Prop. 215’s possible effect on youth marijuana use that the 1997-98
version of the CSS included an added set of questions intended to gauge the measure’s impact. Researchers from
the educational research firm WestEd, located in Los Alamitos, California, analyzed the data. Their report —
never formally published but considered public information by the California Department of Alcohol and Drug
Programs — was prepared in September 1999.
The researchers found that “students were well aware of the proposition and its meaning,” with 63.5% of ninth
graders and 74% of 11
th
graders saying they had either read about the measure or heard adults talk about it in
person or in the media.
7
Regarding the impact of Prop. 215 on marijuana use, they concluded:
Use of marijuana by youth, which had been on an upward trend since the early 1990s at all three grade
levels, did not intensify as predicted by the “wrong message” theory. Instead, it leveled off between 1995-96
and the current (1997-98) survey. There is no evidence supporting that the passage of Proposition 215
increased marijuana use during this period [emphasis added].
8
The researchers did sound a note of caution about “the softening of perceived harm,” writing, “Marijuana use
should be followed over the next several years to assess the impact of Proposition 215 on the marijuana use in
California’s youth.”
9
In this context, the steep declines in use recorded by later surveys are noteworthy.
WASHINGTON (medical marijuana initiative passed November 3, 1998)
Washington, Oregon, and Alaska voters all enacted medical marijuana laws on November 3, 1998.
Unfortunately, none of these three states has produced data on teen marijuana use that can be satisfactorily
compared to determine trends since their laws’ passage. Washington and Oregon have both changed the
methodology of their surveys since the passage of their laws, and Alaska’s weighted data from before its law was
enacted was gathered three years before the law’s passage. Of the three, Washington has the most extensive data
on teen usage rates since the law’s enactment. However, the survey conducted before the law’s passage — the
Washington State Survey of Adolescent Health Behaviors (WSSAHB) — was replaced by the Healthy Youth
Survey (HYS) in 2002.
The WSSAHB was conducted both before the law’s passage — in spring of 1998 — and two years later — in
2000. Similar to the California survey, Washington data showed a substantial increase in adolescent marijuana
use during the years prior to 1998. This increase was followed by a sharp drop in use by all age groups in 2000.
Although the wording of the lifetime use question was changed for the 2000 survey, the question regarding use in
the past 30 days was not changed and shows a similar trend.
The 1998 survey sampled 6,510 sixth grade students and 6,727 eighth grade students. The 10
th
and 12
th
grade
sample was combined, sampling 13,082 students. The 2006 survey reached 8,825 students in sixth grade, 8,912
students in eighth grade, 8,514 students in 10
th
grade, and 6,280 students in 12
th
grade.
Since 2002, the Washington HYS has been conducted on the same age groups. The wording of the lifetime
use question was restored to the language used in 1998 in these surveys. Although there are methodological
differences between the 1998 and 2004 surveys — including that the 1998 and 2006 surveys were conducted
6. Ibid., “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Youth Online: Comprehensive Results.”
7. Rodney Skager, Greg Austin and Mamie M. Wong, “Marijuana Use and the Response to Proposition 215 Among California Youth, a Special Study From
the California Student Substance Use Survey (Grades 7, 9, and 11), 1997-98,” p. 7.
8. Ibid., p. 8.
9. Ibid., p. 7.
in the spring, while the 2002, 2004, and 2006 surveys were administered in the fall — they provide the only
comprehensive statewide data available, so the comparisons are worth noting. Comparing the 1998 WSSAHB
with the 2006 HYS shows dramatic decreases in all surveyed grade levels’ current and lifetime marijuana use
since the enactment of its medical marijuana law. Even the smallest decrease — 22% fewer 12
th
graders had used
marijuana in their lifetimes in 2006 than in the spring of 1998 — was a significant decline. The most dramatic
decreases were among sixth and eighth graders: Their lifetime usage rates have decreased by roughly 54% and
62%, respectively.
The drop in past 30-day usage among sixth and eighth graders has been equally dramatic — at 56% and 58%,
respectively.
A comparison of the 1998 WSSAHB with the 2006 HYS shows the following changes:
6
th
grade past 30 days: 56% decrease since 1998 (from 3.4% to 1.5%)
8
th
grade past 30 days: 58% decrease since 1998 (from 16.5% to 7.0%)
10
th
grade past 30 days: 31% decrease since 1998 (from 26.6% to 18.3%)
12
th
grade past 30 days: 25% decrease since 1998 (from 28.7% to 21.6%)
6
th
grade lifetime: 54% decrease since 1998 (from 7.0% to 3.2%)
8
th
grade lifetime: 62% decrease since 1998 (from 28.2% to 10.7%)
10
th
grade lifetime: 38% decrease since 1998 (from 49.5% to 30.8%)
12
th
grade lifetime: 22% decrease since 1998 (from 55.1% to 43.1%)
10

As was the case in California, Washington’s current and lifetime teen use rates have decreased far more
rapidly among all age groups surveyed than national use rates have. Between 1998 and 2006, eighth graders’
current marijuana use decreased by 29% nationally and their lifetime rates decreased by 33%. In Washington,
eighth graders’ current use decreased by 58% and their lifetime use decreased by 62%. Washington 10th graders’
current use decreased by 31% and their lifetime use dropped by 38%, while those national rates decreased by 24%
and 20% respectively.
11
OREGON (medical marijuana initiative passed November 3, 1998)
While Oregon data are available both before and after the 1998 passage of the state’s medical marijuana law,
Oregon made a number of significant changes in the survey’s methodology in 2001, combining the Oregon Public
Schools Drug Use Survey (OPSDUS) and Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS) into one survey — Oregon
Healthy Teens (OHT). While many questions were repeated essentially unchanged from the older surveys, the
timing of the survey and the method of selection of participating schools were altered.
12
In 1997, Oregon YRBS received usable surveys from about 34,933 students. In 2007, the OHT collected
usable information from over 25,000 Oregon adolescents. The 1998 survey sampled 6,796 students in eighth
grade, and 4,929 students in 11
th
grade. The 2007 survey sampled roughly 15,000 students in eighth grade and
10,500 students in 11
th
grade.
10. Washington State Department of Health, “Washington State Survey of Adolescent Health Behaviors,” Tables 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10; Washington State
Department of Health, “Healthy Youth Survey 2006 Survey Results,” Questions 18 and 35. Available online at < http://www3.doh.wa.gov/HYS/ASPX/HYS-
reports.aspx>.
11. Ibid.; “Monitoring the Future: National Results on Adolescent Drug Use 2007,” Table 1 and 3. The Monitoring the Future survey is the only national survey
administered to the same grades on the same years as the Washington Health Youth Survey.
12. When asked if Oregon’s Office of Mental Health and Addiction Services considers results from the Oregon Healthy Teens survey statistically comparable
to the 1998 Oregon Public Schools Drug Youth Survey, the chief drug and alcohol research analyst noted that the OHT relies on voluntary samples and
responded, “I would say that the OHT information is useful to show overall, aggregate changes in the state but it’s not to the level of being statistically
comparable (which would imply that the exact same population of kids is asked the same set of questions every year).” Pamela Clark, chief drug and alco-
hol research analyst, Oregon Office of Mental Health and Addiction Services, e-mail comm., August 24, 2005.
Although methodological changes between the studies make it hard to draw firm conclusions, the data are
nonetheless encouraging, suggesting a decrease in teen marijuana use since the passage of Oregon’s medical
marijuana initiative. Marijuana use declined in both grades that were surveyed between the passage of the
law and 2007.
13
These results certainly allay any fears that medical marijuana laws would increase teen use.
Comparing the 2007 OHT survey to the 1998 OPSDUS shows the following marijuana use trends:
8
th
grade, past 30 days: 23% decrease since 1998 (from 11.6% to 8.9%)
14
11
th
grade, past 30 days: 11% decrease since 1998 (from 21.0% to 18.6%)
15
8
th
grade, lifetime: 33% decrease since 1998 (from 25.3% to 16.9%)
16
11
th
grade, lifetime: 13% decrease since 1998 (from 45.4% to 39.4%)
17
Comparing the 2007 OHT survey to the 1997 YRBS shows the following marijuana use trends:
11
th
grade, past 30 days: 20% decrease since 1997 (from 23.3% to 18.6%)
11
th
grade, lifetime: 16% decrease since 1997 (from 47% to 39.4%)
18
Unlike in Washington and California, Oregon teen marijuana usage rates have not decreased by as much
as national rates have since Oregon enacted its medical marijuana law. Although Oregon’s 11
th
graders’ lifetime
marijuana use decreased by 11% between 1997 and 2007, the national YRBS suggests a decrease of 16% among
11
th
graders’ nationwide between those years.
19
More specific comparisons to national trends are available in
the appendix.
ALASKA (medical marijuana initiative passed November 3, 1998)
Relatively little data are available on Alaska teens’ use of marijuana before and after the 1998 passage of
its medical marijuana law. The only available weighted data from those timeframes are the Alaska Youth Risk
Behavior Surveys (YRBS), which provide estimates of high schoolers’ marijuana use in 1995 — three years before
the law’s passage — and in 2007. The 1995 survey received 10,904 completed questionnaires, a 60% response rate
for students surveyed, while the 2007 survey received 1,318 surveys, for a 66% response rate. Although the sample
size was reduced, the study design remained consistent and the authors use their data for comparison to 1995.
The YRBS data suggest that since Alaska passed its medical marijuana law, high school students’
lifetime usage of marijuana has slightly declined — by 8¾ — and their current marijuana use declined more
significantly — by 29¾. Current marijuana use decreased among all grade levels. Lifetime marijuana use has
decreased among ninth, 11
th
, and 12
th
graders since the law’s passage, while it has slightly increased among 10
th

graders.
Past 30-days marijuana users, high schoolers: 29% decrease since 1995 (from 28.7% to 20.5%)
Past 30-days marijuana users, 9
th
graders: 39% decrease since 1995 (from 27.8% to 16.9%)
Past 30-days marijuana users, 10
th
graders: 8% decrease since 1995 (from 25.7% to 23.7%)
Past 30-days marijuana users, 11
th
graders: 38% decrease since 1995 (from 31.7% to 19.8%)
Past 30-days marijuana users, 12
th
graders: 28% decrease since 1995 (from 30.9% to 22.2%)
13. Data from an age range that is no longer surveyed — all high schoolers — suggest a slight overall decrease in lifetime marijuana use among high schoolers
and an even smaller increase in their past 30-day marijuana use between 1997 and 2003. In 1997, 1999, 2001, and 2003, the YRBS studied past 30-day and
lifetime marijuana use in ninth through twelfth graders. As was noted, the methodology changed in 2001. Those figures suggest that lifetime marijuana
use decreased by 5% — from 43.5% to 41.3% — and that current marijuana use rose by 3% -- from 22.5% to 23.2%. Those data are not included in the main
survey because it is four years old and newer data are available.
14. “1998 Oregon Public Schools Drug Use Survey,” p. 8; “Oregon Healthy Teens 2007” —Eighth Grade, Q 117. Available online at <http://www.dhs.state.
or.us/dhs/ph/chs/youthsurvey/ohteens/2007/8/results8.shtml#Tobacco__Alcohol__Other_Drugs>.
15. “1998 Oregon Public Schools Drug Use Survey,” p. 8; “Oregon Healthy Teens 2007” — 11th Grade, Q 117.
16. “1998 Oregon Public Schools Drug Use Survey”; “Oregon Healthy Teens 2007” — Eighth Grade, Q 119.
17. “1998 Oregon Public Schools Drug Use Survey”; “Oregon Healthy Teens 2007” — 11th Grade, Q 119.
18. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “1997 Oregon Youth Risk Behavior Survey” — Q 54 and 55; “Oregon Healthy Teens 2007” — 11th Grade, Q
117 and 119. The 1997 Youth Risk Behavior Survey results for eighth graders could not be compared because the data are unweighted.
19. “1998 Oregon Public Schools Drug Use Survey”; “1997 Oregon Youth Risk Behavior Survey” — Q 54 and 55; “Oregon Healthy Teens 2007” — 11th Grade,
Q 119”; National data is not yet available for the 2007 YRBS survey.
Lifetime marijuana users, high schoolers: 8% decrease since 1995 (from 48.4% to 44.7%)
Lifetime marijuana users, 9
th
graders: 21% decrease since 1995 (from 43.9% to 34.8%)
Lifetime marijuana users, 10
th
graders: 13% increase since 1995 (from 44.7% to 50.3%)
Lifetime marijuana users, 11
th
graders: 18% decrease since 1995 (from 52.8% to 43.3%)
Lifetime marijuana users, 12
th
graders: 0.5% decrease since 1995 (from 52.6% to 52.3%)
20
The rate at which Alaska high schoolers currently use marijuana dropped by a larger margin than national
numbers did between 1995 and 2007. The national YRBS found a 22% decrease in high schoolers’ past
30-day marijuana use, while Alaska’s YRBS show a 29% drop. During the same time frame, Alaska teens’ lifetime
marijuana use declined by about the same percentage as their counterparts nationwide: 10% fewer reported trying
marijuana throughout the U.S., while 8% fewer Alaskans reported having ever tried marijuana.
21
MAINE (medical marijuana initiative passed November 2, 1999)
Available data on teen marijuana use suggest usage has decreased among nearly every age group since Maine
enacted its medical marijuana law. Two statewide student surveys provide detailed information about Maine
adolescents’ marijuana use. The Maine Youth Drug and Alcohol Use Surveys (MYDAUS) estimate decreases in
all age groups — for both current and lifetime use — between 1998/1999 and 2006. Similarly, the Maine Youth
Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) shows a 28% decrease in current high school marijuana use from 1997 to 2007, with
decreases among each high school grade level. This is slightly better than the 25% decrease nationwide.
22
The 1998 MYDAUS was administered to 22,162 students, and the 2006 MYDAUS was administered to
77,200 students.
The MYDAUS shows the following changes:
Total past 30 days: 10% decrease since 1999 (from 15.7% to 14.1%)
6
th
grade past 30 days: 17% decrease since 1999 (from 1.2% to 1.0%)
7
th
grade past 30 days: 22% decrease since 1999 (from 3.2% to 2.5%)
8
th
grade past 30 days: 20% decrease since 1999 (from 8.2% to 6.6%)
9
th
grade past 30 days: 26% decrease since 1999 (from 18.5% to 13.7%)
10
th
grade past 30 days: 10% decrease since 1999 (from 22.7% to 20.4%)
11
th
grade past 30 days: 11% decrease since 1999 (from 28.5% to 25.5%)
12
th
grade past 30 days: 11% decrease since 1999 (from 30.4% to 27.2%)
23
Total lifetime: 13% decrease since 1999 (from 28.6% to 25.0%)
6
th
grade lifetime: 14% decrease since 1999 (from 2.2% to 1.9%)
7
th
grade lifetime: 24% decrease since 1999 (from 6.6% to 5.0%)
8
th
grade lifetime: 28% decrease since 1999 (from 17.2% to 12.3%)
9
th
grade lifetime: 23% decrease since 1999 (from 31.2% to 24.0%)
10
th
grade lifetime: 15% decrease since 1999 (from 40.8% to 34.8%)
11
th
grade lifetime: 11% decrease since 1999 (from 50.6% to 45.1%)
12
th
grade lifetime: 14% decrease since 1999 (from 57.7% to 49.7%)
24
20. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “Alaska Youth Risk Behavior Survey” 1995; “2007 Alaska Youth Risk Behavior
Survey Results” breakdowns available at < http://www.hss.state.ak.us/dph/chronic/school/YRBSresults.htm>.
21. Ibid. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Youth Online: Comprehensive Results. National data is not yet available for the 2007 YRBS surveys.
22. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “1997 Maine Youth Risk Behavior Survey”; “2007 Maine Youth Risk Behavior
Survey” breakdowns available at < http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/yrbss/SelQuestyear.asp?cat=3&desc=Alcohol%20and%20Other%20Drug%20Use&loc=ME>;
“Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Youth Online: Comprehensive Results.”
23. Maine Office of Substance Abuse, “The 2006 Maine Youth Drug and Alcohol Use Survey.” breakdowns available at <http://www.maine.gov/maineosa/
survey/report.php?mode=question&survey_id=6&graph_type=simple+pie&question_id=142&participant_group_id=m1 >.
24. Ibid., breakdowns available at <http://www.maine.gov/maineosa/survey/report.php?mode=question&survey_id=6&graph_type=simple+pie&question_
id=142&participant_group_id=m1>.
The Maine YRBS shows the following trends:
Total high schoolers’ past 30 days: 28% decrease since 1997 (from 30.4% to 22.0%)
9
th
grade past 30 days: 57% decrease since 1997 (from 25.1% to 10.7%)
10
th
grade past 30 days: 34% decrease since 1997 (from 29.5% to 19.4%)
11
th
grade past 30 days: 13% decrease since 1997 (from 35.0% to 30.5%)
12
th
grade past 30 days: 15% decrease since 1997 (from 33.1% to 28.2%)
25
The YRBS data suggest that the percent of Maine teens using
marijuana in the past 30 days has decreased more rapidly than
nationwide teen use has: 25% nationwide and 28% in Maine. However,
comparing Monitoring the Future’s nationwide trends with MYDAUS
trends suggests the drop in current marijuana use by Maine teenagers
might be lagging behind the national decrease in some years. For
example, between 1999 and 2005, MTF found 32%, 22%, and 14%
decreases in eighth, 10
th
, and 12
th
graders’ marijuana use, respectively,
while MYDAUS found 20%, 10%, and 11% decreases, respectively.
26
HAWAII (medical marijuana bill signed into law on Iune 14, 2000)
Data that can be validly compared to trend Hawaiians’ teen
marijuana use before and after the state’s medical marijuana bill was
enacted is available from the Hawaii Student Alcohol, Tobacco, and
Other Drug Use Studies (HSATODUS) and the Hawaii Youth Risk
Behavior Survey (YRBS).
27
The results of both studies show decreases in marijuana use in every surveyed grade
level — both in current use and lifetime use. However, the HSATODUS does note, “When looking at comparison
data from previous years, please note that 2003 data was collected during the fall semester, whereas the 2000 and
2002 data were collected during the spring semester.”
The 2007 Hawaii Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS) shows a decrease of 36¾ in Hawaii high
schoolers’ current use of marijuana since the medical marijuana law was enacted. Furthermore, the YRBS
shows a 33% decrease in lifetime use by Hawaii high school students since 1999.
The National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) cautions that its state-level data from 2002 and
subsequent years should not be compared to prior years’ data.
28
However, if it is compared, NSDUH data suggests
a 15% decrease in marijuana use by 12- to 17-year-olds since its medical marijuana law passed.
The HSATODUS and YRBS are much better surveys to use for comparison purposes. The Hawaii survey and
YRBS both provided estimates for four individual grade levels, while the NSDUH failed to break down the data
by age group or control for age, despite numerous surveys showing far higher marijuana usage among 10
th
and
11
th
graders than middle schoolers. In addition, the NSDUH surveyed a mere 350 Hawaiian 12- to 17-year-olds in
1999, while the Hawaii Student Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use Study interviewed 25,860 students in 2000
and 30,361 in 2003.
29
25. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “1997 Maine Youth Risk Behavior Survey”; “2005 Maine Youth Risk Behavior
Survey” breakdowns available at < http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/yrbss/SelQuestyear.asp?cat=3&desc=Alcohol%20and%20Other%20Drug%20Use&loc=ME>.
26. “1997 Maine Youth Risk Behavior Survey”; “The 2006 Maine Youth Drug and Alcohol Use Survey”; “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Youth Online:
Comprehensive Results;” “Monitoring the Future: National Results on Adolescent Drug Use, 1975-2005,” Table 2-3.
27. “The 2003 Hawaii Student Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use Survey,” p. 2.; National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion,
“1999 Hawaii Youth Risk Behavior Survey”; “2007 Hawaii Youth Risk Behavior Survey” breakdowns available at < http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/yrbss/SelQuest-
year.asp?cat=3&desc=Alcohol%20and%20Other%20Drug%20Use&loc=HI>.
28. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, “1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA).”
Table 3B; “2002-2003 NSDUH: State By State Model Based Estimates,” Table 24.
29. NHSDA, Table 1N.
Teen Marijuana Use in Hawaii Before and After Passage
of Medical Marijuana Law
(By Grade Level)
P
e
r
c
e
n
t
a
g
e

o
f
T
e
e
n
s

H
a
v
i
n
g
U
s
e
d
M
a
r
i
j
u
a
n
a

i
n

t
h
e

P
a
s
t

3
0

D
a
y
s
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
1999
2007
12 9
Grade Level
10 11
35
The Hawaii Student Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use Studies show the following changes:
30
6
th
grade past 30-days: 23% decrease since 2000 (from 1.3% to 1.0%)
8
th
grade past 30-days: 26% decrease since 2000 (from 8.9% to 6.6%)
10
th
grade past 30-days: 14% decrease since 2000 (from 17.2% to 14.8%)
12
th
grade past 30-days: 19% decrease since 2000 (from 22.7% to 18.4%)
31
6
th
grade lifetime: 38% decrease since 2000 (from 2.4% to 1.5%)
8
th
grade lifetime: 24% decrease since 2000 (from 15.9% to 12.1%)
10
th
grade lifetime: 8% decrease since 2000 (from 33.2% to 30.5%)
12
th
grade lifetime: 3% decrease since 2000 (from 45.8% to 44.4%)
The Hawaii YRBS shows the following changes:
32
All high schoolers’ past 30 days: 36% decrease since 1999 (from 24.7% to 15.7%)
9
th
grade past 30 days: 27% decrease since 1999 (from 15.8% to 11.5%)
10
th
grade past 30 days: 38% decrease since 1999 (from 25.6% to 15.8%)
11
th
grade past 30 days: 53% decrease since 1999 (from 33.3% to 15.5%)
12
th
grade past 30 days: 23% decrease since 1999 (from 27.2% to 21.0%)
All high schoolers’ lifetime: 33% decrease since 1999 (from 44.6% to 29.9%)
9
th
grade lifetime: 30% decrease since 1999 (from 27.8% to 19.6%)
10
th
grade lifetime: 35% decrease since 1999 (from 45.0% to 29.4%)
11
th
grade lifetime: 42% decrease since 1999 (from 55.3% to 32.0%)
12
th
grade lifetime: 29% decrease since 1999 (from 58.0% to 41.4%)
Trends in Hawaii teens’ marijuana use since that state removed criminal penalties for the medical use of
marijuana compare favorably to nationwide trends. Teenagers’ current marijuana use in Hawaii decreased as
much as or more than it did nationwide since 2000. The national YRBS estimates a 26% decrease in current use
of marijuana, compared to a 36% decrease in use by Hawaii high schoolers. From 1999 to 2007, the national
YRBS estimated a 19% drop in the lifetime use of marijuana by
America’s high school students, while the Hawaii YRBS shows
a 33% decrease.
33
Comparing the HSATODUS data to national
Monitoring the Future data indicates that the percentage of
8
th
and 12
th
grade Hawaiians who used marijuana within the
past month dropped by significantly more than nationwide 8
th

and 12
th
graders’ current use. Hawaiian eighth graders’ lifetime
marijuana use decreased by a substantially higher percent than
nationwide 8
th
graders’ use, but 10
th
and 12
th
graders’ lifetime
use decreased at a slightly lower rate than their counterparts
nationwide.
34
Although the NSDUH advised that data from 2002 and
later are not comparable to earlier data, it should be noted that
if those years were compared, Hawaii has an estimated 15%
30. “2000 Hawaii Student Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use Study Executive Summary,” p. 29; “The 2003 Hawaii Student Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other
Drug Use Survey,” p. 8.
31. Hawaii Department of Health, “2000 Hawai`i Student Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use Survey Executive Summary,” p. 10; Hawaii Department of
Health, “The 2003 Hawaii Student Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use Survey,” p. 9.
32. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “Hawaii Youth Risk Behavior Survey 1999”; “Hawaii Youth Risk Behavior Survey
2007”; breakdowns available at < http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/yrbss/SelQuestyear.asp?cat=3&desc=Alcohol%20and%20Other%20Drug%20Use&loc=HI>.
33. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “1999 Hawaii Youth Risk Behavior Survey”; “2007 Hawaii Youth Risk Behavior
Survey” breakdowns available at < http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/yrbss/SelQuestyear.asp?cat=3&desc=Alcohol%20and%20Other%20Drug%20Use&loc=HI>.;
“Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Youth Online: Comprehensive Results.”
34. Ibid.; “Monitoring the Future: National Results on Adolescent Drug Use, 1975-2004,” Table 5-5 a and 5-5c.
Teen Marijuana Use in Nevada Before and After Passage
of Medical Marijuana Initiative
(By Grade Level)
P
e
r
c
e
n
t
a
g
e

o
f
T
e
e
n
s

H
a
v
i
n
g
U
s
e
d
M
a
r
i
j
u
a
n
a

i
n

t
h
e

P
a
s
t

3
0

D
a
y
s
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
1999
2007
12 9
Grade Level
10 11
decrease, while there was a 6% decrease in the nationwide marijuana use by 12- to 17-year-olds.
NEVADA (medical marijuana initiative passed November 7, 2000)
Both available surveys of adolescent marijuana usage in Nevada show a decrease since Nevada voters passed
a medical marijuana initiative on November 7, 2000. In 2007, the Nevada YRBS found that roughly 40% fewer
higher schoolers used marijuana in the past 30 days than in 1999, before the initiative first passed. It also showed
a 29% drop in high schoolers’ lifetime marijuana use.
The NSDUH data (which suffer the methodological shortcomings noted in the Hawaii section) also estimate
a 35% decrease in youth marijuana use since the medical marijuana law passed.
The Nevada YRBS shows the following changes:
35
All high schoolers’ past 30 days: 40% decrease since 1999 (from 25.9% to 15.5%)
9
th
grade past 30 days: 43% decrease since 1999 (from 23.6% to 13.5%)
10
th
grade past 30 days: 50% decrease since 1999 (from 26.1% to 13.0%)
11
th
grade past 30 days: 31% decrease since 1999 (from 25.9% to 18.0%)
12
th
grade past 30 days: 29% decrease since 1999 (from 27.5% to 19.5%)
All high schoolers’ lifetime: 29% decrease since 1999 (from 49.5% to 35.3%)
9
th
grade lifetime: 32% decrease since 1999 (from 40.6% to 27.7%)
10
th
grade lifetime: 35% decrease since 1999 (from 51.0% to 33.2%)
11
th
grade lifetime: 25% decrease since 1999 (from 52.1% to 39.1%)
12
th
grade lifetime: 13% decrease since 1999 (from 54.9% to 47.8%)
The decline in high schoolers’ current marijuana use and lifetime marijuana use in Nevada is greater than
the nationwide numbers. The national YRBS estimates a 26% decline in high schoolers’ past 30-day marijuana
use, while Nevada estimates a 40% decline. The Nevada YRBS suggests a 29% decrease in high schoolers’ lifetime
marijuana use, while the national YRBS shows a 19% decline.
36

The NSDUH data (which are not supposed to be trended) suggest dramatically better trends in Nevada than
nationwide: The data suggest a 6% decrease in marijuana use between 1999 and 2005-2006 nationwide, while
Nevada’s NSDUH data suggest a drop of 35%.
COLORADO (medical marijuana initiative passed November 7, 2000)
The only weighted survey showing statewide teen marijuana use both before and after the passage of
Colorado’s medical marijuana law is the NSDUH. As noted earlier, the NSDUH has said that the data from 2002
and subsequent years are not comparable to prior years’ data. Colorado participated in the Youth Behavior Risk
Survey in 2005, but this was the first time since 1995 that the state had done so. Therefore, accurate data on teen
marijuana use rates before the enactment of the state’s medical marijuana law are not available.
Furthermore, the other NSDUH methodological shortcomings noted above — a small sample size (of 895 in
Colorado) and lack of differentiation by age — apply to the Colorado data as well. The available data, however,
suggest a decrease in teen marijuana use. According to the NSDUH estimates, past month marijuana use by 12-
to 17-year-olds decreased by 28% between 1999 and 2005-2006, from 10.3% to 7.44%.
37
It is worth noting that the
35. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “Nevada Youth Risk Behavior Survey 1999”; “Nevada Youth Risk Behavior Survey
2007”; breakdowns available at <http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/yrbss/SelQuestyear.asp?cat=3&desc=Alcohol%20and%20Other%20Drug%20Use&loc=NV>.
36. Ibid.; “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Youth Online: Comprehensive Results.”
37. “State Estimates of Substance Use from the 2005-2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health,” Table B.3. Data available online at
<http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k6state/AppB.htm>.
NSDUH stated that the 2002 data showed higher prevalence rates than can be accounted for based on year-to-
year trends.
38
The 2005-2006 NSDUH estimates that 6.74% of 12- to 17-year olds nationwide had used marijuana in the
past 30 days. This was a 6% decrease from the 7.2% reported in 1999. In contrast, its 2005-2006 data for Colorado
suggest a much larger, 28% decrease.
39
VERMONT (medical marijuana bill became law without governor’s signature on May 26, 2004)
Vermont’s medical marijuana law took effect on July 1, 2004. The most reliable available data to compare
teen use before and after the law took effect is the Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS) survey.
This survey of Vermont high school students was conducted in 2003 and in 2007. Overall, Vermont high school
students’ current marijuana usage has decreased by more than 15% during that time. The Vermont YRBS does
not have data on lifetime marijuana use for 2003, so we cannot compare that trend.
The Vermont YRBS shows the following trends:
40
All high schoolers’ past 30 days: 15% decrease since 2003 (from 28.2% to 24.1%)
9
th
grade past 30 days: 28% decrease since 2003 (from 19.5% to 14%)
10
th
grade past 30 days: 16% decrease since 2003 (from 26.6% to 22.4%)
11
th
grade past 30 days: 12% decrease since 2003 (from 30.7% to 26.9%)
12
th
grade past 30 days: 9% decrease since 2003 (from 37.2% to 33.7%)
The decline in Vermont high schoolers’ current marijuana usage is better than the national average —
decreasing by 15% between 2003 and 2007, while the national average decreased by 9.8%.
41

The NSDUH data for Vermont suggest a 9% decrease in marijuana use by 12- to 17-year-olds between 2003-
2004 and 2005-2006. Nationally, the NSDUH data estimates that teen use decreased by 12%.
42
MONTANA (medical marijuana initiative passed November 2, 2004)
Montana’s medical marijuana initiative was enacted on November 2, 2004. The most reliable survey data
available to analyze teen marijuana use in Montana before and after the enactment of the medical marijuana
initiative is the Montana Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS) survey. The data from the 2003 Montana
YRBS and the 2007 YRBS show an overall decrease in both current marijuana use and lifetime marijuana use
by Montana high school students, as well as decreases for both current and lifetime use at all grade levels, except
11
th
graders current usage, which had a slight increase of 2%:
43
All high schoolers’ past 30 days: 9% decrease since 2003 (from 23.1% to 21.0%)
9
th
grade past 30 days: 1% decrease since 2003 (from 16.7% to 16.5%)
10
th
grade past 30 days: 13% decrease since 2003 (from 22.9% to 19.9%)
11
th
grade past 30 days: 2% increase since 2003 (from 24.0% to 24.5%)
12
th
grade past 30 days: 20% decrease since 2003 (from 29.1% to 23.4%)
38. NSDUH 2003, Introduction, 1.2. “An unanticipated result of these changes was that the prevalence rates for 2002 were in general substantially higher than
those for 2001—substantially higher than could be attributable to the usual year-to-year trend—and thus are not comparable with estimates for 2001 and
prior years.”
39. Compared to surveys that divide the sample by grade, are comparable across years, and have large sample sizes, the NSDUH data is not nearly as reliable.
40. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “2003 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey,” breakdowns available at < http://
apps.nccd.cdc.gov/yrbss/SelQuestyear.asp?cat=3&desc=Alcohol%20and%20Other%20Drug%20Use&loc=VT>. “2007 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior
Survey,” breakdowns available at < http://healthvermont.gov/pubs/yrbs2007/yrbs_2007.aspx>.
41. Ibid. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Youth Online: Comprehensive Results.
42. “State Estimates of Substance Use from the 2005-2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health,” Table B.3. Data available online at
<http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k6state/AppB.htm>.
43. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “2003 Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey”; “2007 Montana Youth Risk Behavior
Survey” breakdowns available at < http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/yrbss/SelQuestyear.asp?cat=3&desc=Alcohol%20and%20Other%20Drug%20Use&loc=MT>.
All high schoolers’ lifetime: 11% decrease since 2003 (from 43.9% to 39.1%)
9
th
grade lifetime: 12% decrease since 2003 (from 30.0% to 26.4%)
10
th
grade lifetime: 13% decrease since 2003 (from 42.3% to 36.8%)
11
th
grade lifetime: 7% decrease since 2003 (from 49.2% to 45.8%)
12
th
grade lifetime: 13% decrease since 2003 (from 55.8% to 48.5%)
The Montana YRBS data for lifetime usage compares favorably with the national data. Between 2003 and
2007, Montana high schoolers’ lifetime marijuana usage decreased by 11%, while nationally, between 2003 and
2007, high schoolers’ lifetime usage only decreased by 5%.
Unlike most of the other medical marijuana states, Montana teens’ current marijuana usage rates have not
decreased by as much as national rates have since it enacted its medical marijuana law. The national YRBS data
suggest a decrease in teens’ current marijuana usage of 12% between 2003 and 2007; however, Montana high
schoolers’ current marijuana usage decreased by 9% during that period.
44

The NSDUH data for Montana, which is not as reliable as the YRBS data, actually suggest that Montana’s
12- to 17-year-olds’ usage of marijuana has decreased by 17%, which is greater than the national estimate of a 12%
decline amongst 12- to 17-year-olds.
45
RHODE ISLAND (medical marijuana bill became law Ianuary 3, 2006)
Rhode Island’s medical marijuana bill became law on January 3, 2006, following the override of Governor
Donald Carcieri’s veto. The only survey data available to analyze teen marijuana use in Rhode Island before and
after the enactment of the medical marijuana initiative is the Rhode Island Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance
(YRBS) survey. The data from the 2005 Rhode Island YRBS and the 2007 YRBS show an overall decrease in both
current marijuana use and lifetime marijuana use by Rhode Island high school students.
46

All high schoolers’ past 30 days: 7% decrease since 2005 (from 25.0% to 23.2%)
9
th
grade past 30 days: 3% increase since 2005 (from 18.3% to 18.9%)
10
th
grade past 30 days: 2% increase since 2005 (from 21.8% to 22.2%)
11
th
grade past 30 days: 11% decrease since 2005 (from 27.4% to 24.3%)
12
th
grade past 30 days: 17% decrease since 2005 (from 34.3% to 28.5%)
All high schoolers’ lifetime: 4% decrease since 2005 (from 42.6% to 40.3%)
9
th
grade lifetime: 4% increase since 2005 (from 30.4% to 29.2%)
10
th
grade lifetime: 7% decrease since 2005 (from 36.4% to 37.9%)
11
th
grade lifetime: 11% decrease since 2005 (from 48.6% to 45.3%)
12
th
grade lifetime: 5% decrease since 2005 (from 58.6% to 52.0%)
The Rhode Island YRBS data for lifetime and current usage compares favorably with the national data.
Between 2005 and 2007, Rhode Island high schoolers’ lifetime marijuana usage decreased by 4%, while nationally,
between 2005 and 2007, high schoolers’ lifetime usage only decreased by 1%. Rhode Island high schoolers’ current
marijuana usage decreased by 7% between 2005 and 2007, while nationally, current usage only decreased by 2%.
47
NEW MEXICO (medical marijuana bill became law April 2, 2007)
44. “2007 Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey,” results available at <http://opi.mt.gov/YRBS>.
45. “State Estimates of Substance Use from the 2005-2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health,” Table B.3. Data available online at <http://www.oas.
samhsa.gov/2k6state/AppB.htm>.
46. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “2005 Rhode Island Youth Risk Behavior Survey”; “2007 Rhode Island Youth Risk
Behavior Survey” breakdowns available at <http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/yrbss/SelQuestyear.asp?cat=3&desc=Alcohol%20and%20Other%20Drug%20Use
&loc=RI>.
47. Ibid; “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Youth Online: Comprehensive Results.” Available at <http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/yrbss/SelQuestyear.asp?cat=3&des
c=Alcohol%20and%20Other%20Drug%20Use&loc=XX>.
Governor Bill Richardson signed New Mexico’s medical marijuana bill on April 2, 2007. As of this writing, no
publicly released surveys have estimated teens’ marijuana use since the law’s passage.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Since the mid-1990s, the U.S. has witnessed a well-publicized and sometimes emotional national debate over
the medical use of marijuana. Contrary to the fears expressed by opponents of medical marijuana laws, there is no
evidence that the enactment of 12 state medical marijuana laws has produced an increase in adolescent marijuana
use in those states or nationwide. Instead, data from those states suggest a modest decline overall, with very large
declines in some age groups in some states. Overall, the decrease in teen marijuana use in medical marijuana
states has slightly exceeded the national decline. No state with a medical marijuana law has experienced an overall
increase in youth marijuana use since it passed its medical marijuana law.
While it is not possible with existing data to determine conclusively that state medical marijuana laws caused
the documented declines in adolescent marijuana use, the overwhelming downward trend strongly suggests that
the effect of state medical marijuana laws on teen marijuana use has been either neutral or positive, discouraging
youthful experimentation with the drug. California researchers, who appear to be the only ones to specifically
study the issue in the context of a survey of adolescent drug use, found no evidence of a “wrong message” effect.
The reasons for this lack of impact have not been adequately studied. Perhaps medical marijuana laws send a
very different message than opponents of such laws have suggested: Marijuana is a treatment for serious illness,
not a toy, and requires cautious and careful handling. Legislators considering medical marijuana proposals
should evaluate the bills on their own merits, without concern for unproven claims that such laws increase teen
marijuana use. Opponents of medical marijuana laws should cease making such unsubstantiated claims.
APPENDIX
Comparing Marijuana Use Trends in Medical Marijuana States
with National Trends
The following tables compare before-and-after data on teen marijuana use in medical marijuana states with
the national data.
48
In each case, the state data were compared to national data that were the closest match in
terms of grades surveyed and years in which the surveys were conducted. If both national and statewide YRBS’s
were conducted, those data were compared.
California
The following table compares trends between California’s 1995/1996 and its 2005/2006 CSS with trends
between the 1995 and 2005 national YRBS.
Lifetime use YRBS California YRBS California
9
th
grade 13% decrease 36% decrease 33.8% to 29.3% 35% to 22.3%
11
th
grade 8% decrease 19% decrease 45.8% to 42.3% 46.9% to 38.2%
Past 30-day YRBS California YRBS California
9
th
grade 11% decrease 47% decrease 20.9% to 18.5% 23.6% to 12.6%
11
th
grade 12% decrease 26% decrease 27.6% to 24.1% 25.9% to 19.2%
Washington
The following table compares trends between Washington’s 1998 WSSAHB and its 2006 HYS with trends
between the 1998 and 2006 Monitoring the Future surveys.
LIvv:Imv usv MTF WnsuI×o:o× MTF WnsuI×o:o×
8
th
grade 29% decrease 62% decrease 22.2% to 15.7% 28.2% to 10.7%
10
th
grade 20% decrease 38% decrease 39.6% to 31.8% 49.5% to 30.8%
12
th
grade 14% decrease 22% decrease 49.1% to 42.3% 55.1% to 43.1%
Past 30-day MTF Washington MTF Washington
8
th
grade 33% decrease 58% decrease 9.7% to 6.5% 16.5% to 7.0%
10
th
grade 24% decrease 31% decrease 18.7% to 14.2% 26.6% to 18.3%
12
th
grade 20% decrease 25% decrease 22.8% to 18.3% 28.7% to 21.6%
48. “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Youth Online: Comprehensive Results;” “Monitoring the Future: National Results on Adolescent Drug Use 2007,”
Table 1 and 3. Citations for state data are available in each appropriate state’s section.
Oregon
The following table compares marijuana use trends between a number of Oregon surveys and the
national YRBS and Monitoring the Future (MTF) surveys. It compares Oregon’s 1997 YRBS and 2007 OHT
data on 11th graders’ marijuana use with the national YRBS from the same years. It also compares 1998
OPSDUS data and 2005 OHT on eighth grade and eleventh grade use with national YRBS data from 1997 and
2005. Finally, it compares 1998 OPSDUS data and 2007 OHT data on eighth graders’ use with the national
1998 and 2007 MTF data.
Lifetime use YRBS Oregon YRBS Oregon
11
th
grade
(‘97 YRBS)
16% decrease 16% decrease 50.3% to 42.3% 47% to 39.4%
11
th
grade
(‘98 OPSDUS)
16% decrease 13% decrease 50.3% to 42.3% 45.4% to 39.4%
Past 30-day use YRBS Oregon YRBS Oregon
11
th
grade
(‘97 YRBS)
28% decrease 11% decrease 29.3% to 21.0% 21.0% to 18.6%
11
th
grade
(‘98 OPSDUS)
28% decrease 20% decrease 29.3% to 21.0% 23.3% to 18.6%
Lifetime use MTF Oregon MTF Oregon
8
th
grade 36% decrease 33% decrease 22.2% to 14.2% 25.3% to 16.9%
Past 30-day use MTF Oregon MTF Oregon
8
th
grade 41% decrease 23% decrease 9.7% to 5.7% 11.6% to 8.9%
Alaska
The following table compares trends between Alaska’s 1995 and 2007 YRBS with the national YRBS surveys
from the identical years.
Lifetime use YRBS Alaska YRBS Alaska
Total 10% decrease 8% decrease 42.4% to 38.1% 48.4% to 44.7%
9
th
grade 19% decrease 21% decrease 33.8% to 27.5% 43.9% to 34.8%
10
th
grade 11% decrease 13% increase 41.4% to 36.9% 44.7% to 50.3%
11
th
grade 7% decrease 18% decrease 45.8% to 42.4% 52.8% to 43.3%
12
th
grade 4% increase 0.5% decrease 47% to 49.1% 52.6% to 52.3%
Past 30-day YRBS Alaska YRBS Alaska
Total 22% decrease 29% decrease 25.3% to 19.7% 28.7% to 20.5%
9
th
grade 30% decrease 39% decrease 20.9% to 14.7% 27.8% to 16.9%
10
th
grade 24% decrease 8% increase 25.5% to 19.3% 25.7% to 23.7%
11
th
grade 22% decrease 38% decrease 27.6% to 21.4% 31.7% to 19.8%
12
th
grade 4% decrease 28% decrease 26.2% to 25.1% 30.9% to 22.2%
Maine
The following table compares trends between two different Maine surveys and the national YRBS and
Monitoring the Future surveys. It compares Maine’s 1997 and 2007 YRBS data with national data from the same
years. (Maine did not conduct the YRBS in 1999.) It also compares 1998/1999 and 2006 MYDAUS data with
Monitoring the Future data from 1999 and 2006. Finally, it compares 1998/1999 and 2006 MYDAUS data with
national YRBS data from 1999 and 2007.
Past 30-day YRBS Maine YRBS Maine
Total 25% decrease 28% decrease 26.2% to 19.7% 30.4% to 22.0%
9
th
grade 38% decrease 57% decrease 23.6% to 14.7% 25.1% to 10.7%
10
th
grade 23% decrease 34% decrease 25% to 19.3% 29.5% to 19.4%
11
th
grade 27% decrease 13% decrease 29.3% to 21.4% 35.0% to 30.5%
12
th
grade 6% decrease 15% decrease 26.6% to 25.1% 33.1% to 28.2%
Lifetime MTF Maine (MYDAUS) MTF Maine (MYDAUS)
8
th
grade 25% decrease 28% decrease 22% to 16.5% 17.2% to 12.3%
10
th
grade 17% decrease 15% decrease 40.9% to 34.1% 40.8% to 34.8%
12
th
grade 10% decrease 14% decrease 49.7% to 44.8% 57.7% to 49.7%
Past 30-day MTF Maine (MYDAUS) MTF Maine (MYDAUS)
8
th
grade 32% decrease 20% decrease 9.7% to 6.6% 8.2% to 6.6%
10
th
grade 22% decrease 10% decrease 19.4% to 15.2% 22.7% to 20.4%
12
th
grade 14% decrease 11% decrease 23.1% to 19.8% 30.4% to 27.2%
Past 30-day YRBS Maine (MYDAUS) YRBS Maine (MYDAUS)
9
th
grade 38% decrease 26% decrease 21.7% to 14.7% 18.5% to 13.7%
11
th
grade 27% decrease 11% decrease 26.7% to 21.4% 28.5% to 25.5%
Lifetime YRBS Maine (MYDAUS) YRBS Maine (MYDAUS)
9
th
grade 21% decrease 23% decrease 34.8% to 27.5% 31.2% to 24.0%
11
th
grade 15% decrease 11% decrease 49.7% to 42.4% 50.6% to 45.1%
Hawaii
The following table compares trends between the 2000 and 2003 Hawaii Student Alcohol, Tobacco, and other
Drug Use Studies with the Monitoring the Future surveys from the identical years.
Lifetime use MTF Hawaii MTF Hawaii
8
th
grade 14% decrease 24% decrease 20.3% to 17.5% 15.9% to 12.1%
10
th
grade 10% decrease 8% decrease 40.3% to 36.4% 33.2% to 30.5%
12
th
grade 6% decrease 3% decrease 48.8% to 46.1% 45.8% to 44.4%
Past 30-day MTF Hawaii MTF Hawaii
8
th
grade 18% decrease 26% decrease 9.1% to 7.5% 8.9% to 6.6%
10
th
grade 14% decrease 14% decrease 19.7% to 17% 17.2% to 14.8%
12
th
grade 2% decrease 19% decrease 21.6% to 21.2% 22.7% to 18.4%
The following table notes the differences between trends in the national YRBS data from 1999 until 2007 and
Hawaii’s data from 1999 until 2007.
Lifetime use YRBS Hawaii YRBS Hawaii
Total 19% decrease 33% decrease 47.2% to 38.1% 44.6% to 29.9%
9
th
grade 21% decrease 30% decrease 34.8% to 27.5% 27.8% to 19.6%
10
th
grade 25% decrease 35% decrease 49.1% to 36.9% 45% to 29.4%
11
th
grade 15% decrease 42% decrease 49.7% to 42.4% 55.3% to 32.0%
12
th
grade 16% decrease 29% decrease 58.4% to 49.1% 58% to 41.4%
Past 30-day YRBS Hawaii YRBS Hawaii
Total 26% decrease 36% decrease 26.7% to 19.7% 24.7% to 15.7%
9
th
grade 32% decrease 27% decrease 21.7% to 14.7% 15.8% to 11.5%
10
th
grade 31% decrease 38% decrease 27.8% to 19.3% 25.6% to 15.8%
11
th
grade 20% decrease 53% decrease 26.7% to 21.4% 33.3% to 15.5%
12
th
grade 20% decrease 23% decrease 31.5% to 25.1% 27.2% to 21.0%
The following table notes the differences between trends in the national NSDUH data from 1999 until
2005/2006 with Hawaii’s data from 1999 until 2005/2006. However, the state’s data are not considered comparable
by the NSDUH due to methodological changes.
Past 30-day NSDUH Hawaii NSDUH Hawaii
12- to 17- years 6% decrease 15% decrease 7.2% to 6.74% 8.3% to 7.04%
Nevada
The following table compares trends between Nevada’s 1999 and 2007 YRBS with the national YRBS surveys
from the identical years.
Lifetime use YRBS Nevada YRBS Nevada
Total 19% decrease 29% decrease 47.2% to 38.1% 49.5% to 39.3%
9
th
grade 21% decrease 32% decrease 34.8% to 27.5% 40.6% to 32.6%
10
th
grade 25% decrease 35% decrease 49.1% to 36.9% 51.0% to 35.1%
11
th
grade 15% decrease 25% decrease 49.7% to 42.4% 52.1% to 45.3%
12
th
grade 16% decrease 13% decrease 58.4% to 49.1% 54.9% to 48.4%
Past 30-day YRBS Nevada YRBS Nevada
Total 26% decrease 40% decrease 26.7% to 19.7% 25.9% to 15.5%
9
th
grade 32% decrease 43% decrease 21.7% to 14.7% 23.6% to 13.5%
10
th
grade 31% decrease 50% decrease 27.8% to 19.3% 26.1% to 13.0%
11
th
grade 20% decrease 31% decrease 26.7% to 21.4% 25.9% to 28.0%
12
th
grade 20% decrease 29% decrease 31.5% to 25.1% 27.5% to 19.5%
The following table notes the differences between trends in the national NSDUH data from 1999 until
2005/2006 and Nevada’s NSDUH data from 1999 until 2005/2006. As noted, the state data are not considered
comparable by the NSDUH due to methodological changes.
Past 30-day NSDUH Nevada NSDUH Nevada
12- to 17- years 6% decrease 35% decrease 7.2% to 6.47% 11.6% to 7.57%
Colorado
The following table notes the differences between trends in the national NSDUH data from 1999 until
2005/2006 and Colorado’s NSDUH data from 1999 until 2005/2006. As noted, the state data are not considered
comparable by the NSDUH due to methodological changes.
Past 30-day NSDUH Colorado NSDUH Colorado
12- to 17- years 6% decrease 28% decrease 7.2% to 6.74% 10.3% to 7.44%
Vermont
The following table compares the trends between Vermont’s 2003 and 2007 YRBS with the national YRBS
surveys from the same years.
Past 30-day YRBS Vermont YRBS Vermont
Total 12% decrease 15% decrease 22.4% to 19.7% 28.2% to 24.1%
9
th
grade 21% decrease 28% decrease 18.5% to 14.7% 19.5% to 14.0%
10
th
grade 12% decrease 16% decrease 22.0% to 19.3% 26.6% to 22.4%
11
th
grade 11% decrease 12% decrease 24.1% to 21.4% 30.7% to 26.9%
12
th
grade 3% decrease 9% decrease 25.8% to 25.1% 37.2% to 33.7%
The following table notes the differences between trends in the national NSDUH data from 2003/2004 until
2005/2006 and Vermont’s NSDUH data from 2003/2004 until 2005/2006.
Past 30-day NSDUH Vermont NSDUH Vermont
12- to 17- years 12% decrease 9% decrease 7.7% to 6.74% 11.11% to 10.08%
Montana
The following table compares the trends between Montana’s 2003 and 2007 YRBS with the national YRBS
surveys from the same years.
Past 30-day YRBS Montana YRBS Montana
Total 12% decrease 9% decrease 22.4% to 19.7% 23.1% to 21.0%
9
th
grade 21% decrease 1% decrease 18.5% to 14.7% 16.7% to 16.5%
10
th
grade 12% decrease 13% decrease 22.0% to 19.3% 22.9% to 19.9%
11
th
grade 11% decrease 2% increase 24.1% to 21.4% 24.0% to 24.5%
12
th
grade 3% decrease 20% decrease 25.8% to 25.1% 29.1% to 23.4%
Lifetime Use YRBS Montana YRBS Montana
Total 5% decrease 11% decrease 40.2% to 38.1% 43.9% to 39.1%
9
th
grade 10% decrease 12% decrease 30.7% to 27.5% 30% to 26.4%
10
th
grade 9% decrease 13% decrease 40.4% to 36.9% 42.3% to 36.8%
11
th
grade 5% decrease 7% decrease 44.5% to 42.4% 49.2% to 45.8%
12
th
grade 1% increase 13% decrease 48.5% to 49.1% 55.8% to 54.2%
The following table notes the differences between trends in the national NSDUH data from 2003/2004 until
2005/2006 and Montana’s NSDUH data from 2003/2004 until 2005/2006.
Past 30-day NSDUH Montana NSDUH Montana
12- to 17- years 12% decrease 17% decrease 7.7% to 6.74% 12.73% to 10.56%
Rhode Island
The following table compares the trends between Rhode Island’s 2005 and 2007 with the national YRBS
surveys from the same years.
Past 30-day YRBS Rhode Island YRBS Rhode Island
Total 2% decrease 7% decrease 20.2% to 19.7% 25.0% to 23.2%
9
th
grade 16% decrease 3% increase 17.4% to 14.7% 18.3% to 18.9%
10
th
grade 4% decrease 2% increase 20.2% to 19.3% 21.8% to 22.2%
11
th
grade 2% increase 11% decrease 21.0% to 21.4% 27.4% to 24.3%
12
th
grade 10% increase 17% decrease 22.8% to 25.1% 34.3% to 28.5%
Lifetime Use YRBS Rhode Island YRBS Rhode Island
Total 1% decrease 4% decrease 38.4% to 38.1% 42.6% to 40.3%
9
th
grade 6% decrease 4% increase 29.3% to 27.5% 30.4% to 29.2%
10
th
grade 1% decrease 7% decrease 37.4% to 36.9% 36.4% to 37.9%
11
th
grade slight increase 11% decrease 42.3% to 42.4% 48.6% to 45.3%
12
th
grade 3% increase 5% decrease 47.6% to 49.1% 58.6% to 52.0%
Health and Human Services Committee
Informational Presentation – Medical Marijuana Act
Wed. March 17
th
, 2010

Testimony in Support of HB2610


Cheryl Riley Testimony
Times are changing very rapidly on the medical cannabis front. Fourteen states now have medical
cannabis programs for desperately ill patients who find their best relief through cannabis. Nearly that
many more—including Kansas—have medical cannabis legislation pending. The District of Columbia has
passed legislation and awaits funding to implement its medical cannabis program.
Four decades of intensive research and clinical trials in Israel and elsewhere has proved beyond any
doubt to rational minds that medical cannabis is indeed effective therapy for a wide array of medical
conditions. Consequently, many major medical and other organizations have declared support for
medical cannabis and call for changes to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) drug
scheduling system that would open the door to major cannabis studies in the U.S.
Among medical organizations in support of medical cannabis is The American Medical Association
(AMA), which recently reversed long-standing policy and called on the DEA to reschedule cannabis so
that clinical studies could be conducted. Other medical organizations in support include The American
Nurses Association (ANA), The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and The American
Public Health Association (APHA). More complete listing at http://www.mpp.org/archive/leading-
medical-religious-and-legal-organizations-support-phys.html.
It is no wonder that many religious groups have announced support: This is, above all, a matter of
human compassion. The United Methodist Church's Board of Church and Society says, “. . . seriously ill
people should not be subject to sanctions for using marijuana if the patient's physician has told the
patient that such use is likely to be beneficial."
The United Church of Christ has stated, "We believe that seriously ill people should not be subject to
arrest and imprisonment for using medical marijuana with their doctors' approval." More complete
listing at http://www.mpp.org/archive/leading-medical-religious-and-legal-organizations-support-
phys.html.
Surely the time has come for the truth about medical cannabis to be recognized, and with it, renewed
hope for a better quality of life for struggling Kansas patients.

Health and Human Services Committee
Informational Hearing – Medical Marijuana Act
Wed. March 17
th
, 2010

Testimony in Support of HB2610


To: Chair Brenda Landwehr & Committee Members - Health & Human Services Committee

Let me make it clear that I do not advocate the legalization of marijuana or any other controlled
substance. I have publicly supported medical marijuana and the reclassification of marijuana from a
Schedule 1 drug to a Schedule 2 drug for over 25 years. (Class 1 - no medicinal value - Class 2 -
medicinal value)

On June 25, 1983, the National Association of Attorneys General passed a resolution supporting
legislative efforts to make marijuana available on a prescription basis to patients undergoing
chemotherapy or suffering from glaucoma.

On September 6, 1988 Drug Enforcement Administration's Chief Administrative Law Judge ruled that it
would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers
and the benefits of this substance (marijuana). The DEA ruled against the decision.

In 2007 DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner concluded that University of Massachusetts
Professor Lyle E. Cracker should be allowed to grow marijuana for use in research. The DEA did not
accept this.

The American College of Physicians in 2008 issued the following statement: "Although the indications for
some conditions (e.g., HIV wasting and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting) have been
well documented, less information is available about other potential medical uses. Addition research is
needed to clarify marijuana's therapeutic properties and determine standards and optimal doses and
routes of delivery."

Robert T. Stephan

Robert T. Stephan
Attorney at Law
12548 W. 123rd Street
Overland Park, KS 66213
Phone (913) 685-1953
Fax (913) 685-5976

Health and Human Services Committee
Informational Presentation – Medical Marijuana Act
Wed. March 17
th
, 2010

Testimony in Support of HB2610


By Adam Turner
Allowing medical cannabis is not a slippery slope of legalizing marijuana in the
state of Kansas. Even with medical cannabis permitted in Kansas it doesn't mean
that it will allot or provide easier access to cannabis for non patients looking
to abuse the system. Current law and practice already omit such activities as
this from taking place.

If a medical doctor comes in contact with a patient suffering from exogenous
obesity or extreme ADHD they could prescribe that patient Desoxyn which is an FDA
approved drug also known as methamphetamine. There is no law prohibiting a doctor
from prescribing methamphetamine to a patient that is in need of the medication
that a doctor sees fit to treat their condition. Even with these particular
conditions met and upheld by current law, methamphetamine is still very much
illegal for non prescribers to obtain and possess. And under current law such
possession of the drug is prosecutable by the state. But under current law and
practice there are no laws that allow or protect the same doctors from
prescribing patients medical cannabis that can relieve chronic pain and nausea
caused from chemotherapy.

There are many misconceptions about what would happen if medical cannabis were
allowed in Kansas. Many people think that if medical cannabis is permitted in our
state that the drug would be more readily available on the street to our children
and to drug abusers but this is very simply not true. Studies have been done
concluding that is not true as well. In the states that currently allow medical
cannabis it has been found that adolescent use of the drug has decreased
significantly." In California the number of ninth graders reporting marijuana use
in the last 30 days declined by 47% from 1996 to 2006. In Washington, sixth and
eighth graders' current and lifetime marijuana use has dropped by more than 50%
since the 1998 enactment of the state's medical marijuana law."(Marijuana Use By
Young People)

It's very easy to understand why these numbers are reported. With the simple
practice of regulating even the smallest amount of cannabis, it can be seen that,
it is harder for abusers to obtain and is less desirable to do so when regulation
is in practice. There may never be a way to completely eliminate abusers of
marijuana but through the simple practices of taxing and regulating cannabis
through the allotment of medical uses, young people are not using the drug as
much and dire necessitating patients are rightly given the medication they
deserve to treat the ailments their doctors see fit to prescribe.

Adam Turner
Patrick Wilbur Testimony

The Honorable Brenda Landwehr
Chair, Kansas House Health and Human Services Committee
Members of the Kansas House Health and Human Services Committee

Dear Chairperson Landwehr and Members of the Committee:

Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony regarding House Bill 2610. I want to
express my support for this bill and encourage the committee to forward this bill to the
full legislature. I believe this bill helps Kansans and have outlined my reasons below.

There are many patients who suffer from the consequences of serious and debilitating
illnesses. Most of us know someone – perhaps family or friends – who are fighting battles
at this very time. It is undeniable that many patients find marijuana to be the most
effective substance in relieving both pain and nausea resulting from treatment for these
illnesses. As a society we have endorsed the use of many medicines that have serious side
effects. We do this because we have the compassion to understand that patients deserve
the opportunity for relief and comfort. If we can endorse the use of substances such as
morphine we should certainly endorse marijuana, which is much less addictive.

It is critical that the legislature make a statement in support of the health and welfare of
its citizens. To date, fourteen states have allowed for the use of marijuana and patient
protection from state-level penalties. This power is in your hands, not the federal
government’s hands. The 10
th
amendment allows for Kansas to do the right thing and
lead the way for patients. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 81% of
Americans favor the legalization of medical marijuana. This is not a radical idea – it is
mainstream.

Obviously this bill does not endorse the legalization of marijuana or recreational use of
marijuana. There is accountability in the regulation and distribution of marijuana. The
notion that this bill allows for a widespread increase in the use of marijuana is laughable.
This bill simply allows patients and doctors to determine the best course of treatment
without fear of prosecution. It also allows the legislature – particularly this committee –
to provide a compassionate response to the hysteria that prevents this common-sense
legislation from becoming reality – do not let this opportunity slip away.

Respectfully,

Patrick Wilbur
Executive Director
Drug Policy Forum of Kansas
P.O. Box 357
Lawrence, KS 66044
785-841-8801

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