State Capitol News
4:37 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Med Pot Advocates Say Lawmakers Got Report Wrong

The organization that funded the state's 2010 medical marijuana initiative says lawmakers who now want voters to scrap the program are missing the point of a study on teen use.

Credit Coaster420

That study showed that more than one out of every nine high schoolers who admitted to regularly smoking marijuana said they got it from a medical marijuana user. That report, coupled with what he said were other concerns, led Rep. John Kavanagh on Thursday to propose asking voters to repeal the law. But Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project noted the same study showed no increase in overall teen marijuana use since the initiative was adopted.

"Increased availability to qualified patients is not causing an increase in marijuana use, which is pretty much what everybody is alleging here," Fox said.

Kavanagh said that isn't the issue.

"There's a diversion of medical marijuana to children," Kavanagh said. "Whether it's responsible for an increase or a decrease is totally irrelevant. The mere fact that some of them are passing it on, that one in nine school children are getting legal marijuana from them is just one more reason why the program should go."

But Fox said it's wrong to try to kill the entire program because some teens got their drugs from medical marijuana patients.

"The fact that this substance is more widely available for qualified patients I'm not sure is really increasing the availability. Teenagers are going to find marijuana, one way or another," Fox said.

The final say on whether to kill the program would be up to voters next year.