Skip to comments.Medical Marijuana laws working well report says
Posted on 11/30/2002 4:40:33 PM PST by Rocksalt
November 30, 2002
Medical marijuana laws working well, report says By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Law enforcement officials in four of the states that allow medical use of marijuana say the laws have had minimal impact on crimefighting, although they at times complicate prosecution of drug cases, a congressional report said Friday.
The report by the General Accounting Office said that only a small fraction of the people in Oregon, Hawaii and Alaska used marijuana for medical purposes. The results in California, the fourth state studied, were limited to only four counties and no statewide data were available.
Some law enforcement officials said that while crimefighting was not harmed, the laws allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana at times has complicated efforts to seize illegal marijuana or to prosecute some cases, according to the GAO report.
In some cases, law enforcement officials said the marijuana laws resulted in ``a general softening'' in attitudes among the public toward marijuana, the report said, and some were concerned about conflicts that arise with federal law enforcement, which still bans the drug.
The GAO examined only four of the eight states that have allowed medical uses for marijuana. The other states are Nevada, Colorado, Washington and Maine.
The GAO found that a total of about 2,450 people in Oregon, Hawaii and Alaska use marijuana for medical purposes - accounting for no more than .05 percent of the population in any of the states.
The report provided no statewide data for California. That state's law does not require medicinal marijuana users to register, although about 4,500 people have done so voluntarily in four of the state's 58 counties, according to the GAO.
In Northern California, Humboldt County officials said marijuana growers are allowed to grow hundreds of plants while claiming to be a medical caregiver to multiple patients, and no documentation is required.
Some local law enforcement officials in California questioned how effectively they could prosecute criminal marijuana cases since the state has no limit on the amount of marijuana that can be held by a patient or a caregiver.
While the other three states have established limits, some law enforcement officials said they too were less likely to pursue cases that could be shielded by the provisions.
The Bush administration disagreed with some of the report's findings.
The state marijuana laws have resulted in a ``worsening of relations between federal, state and local law enforcement,'' Acting Assistant Attorney General Robert Diegelman wrote the review of the report.
The laws create ``legal loopholes for drug dealers and marijuana cultivators to avoid arrest and prosecution,'' he said.
Data from the three states that require registries - Oregon, Hawaii and Alaska - showed that over 70 percent of medicinal marijuana users from each state were at least 40 years old.
In Hawaii and Oregon, where information on gender was kept, about 70 percent of users in each state were male, according to the report.
The GAO conducted its study from September 2001 to June 2002.
Coming from a BS artist as yourself, that is a compliment. As far as the "evidence" you demanded (not that I need to justify myself to the likes of you) it comes from working with other addicts and alcoholics and talking to therapists and rehab conselours. And I think they know just a little bit more about it than you do. How many old junkies do you know vs alcoholics?
Keep slinging the BS pal - I am another one who does not buy it.
That's not evidence, just more of your unsubstantiated claims.
I am not talking about the use of this drug for medical purposes. I am talking about the legalization of marijuana for comsumption by anyone who wants to use it. What are the long-term health risks for habitual users?
This is the issue that is being ignore by those who want to legaize the use of marijuana. There are significant health risks involved.
Liberals want this drug legalized, so my question is, "When thousands of people come down with lung cancer and other ailments from smoking marijuana for 30 years, who are they going to sue?" Since there won't be any big companies like the tabacco companies to sue, does that mean that the federal government will have to pay? This really means the the average taxpayer who doesn't use this drug will have to pay the bill for other peoples' reckless behavior.