Medical Marijuana Press Release
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Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) Foundation distributed the following news release to numerous reporters on Wednesday, but most chose to ignore this important finding that the new medicinal marijuana laws did not lead to increased teen marijuana usage.

Please help make sure that it does not get swept under the rug!  While the government's survey is still "news," please use the following information to develop a letter-to-the-editor, then submit it to your local newspapers as soon as possible.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           AUGUST 18, 1999

Government Survey Finds Medicinal Marijuana Reform Did Not Lead to Increased Teen Marijuana Use

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, released today by the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services, found that medicinal marijuana reform did not lead to increased teen marijuana use.

"Today's findings should dispel the myth once and for all that medicinal marijuana sends the wrong message and leads to increased non-medical marijuana use," said Chuck Thomas, director of communications for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project.

Important findings include:

Despite a nationwide debate about the medicinal use of marijuana that has been making headlines since 1996, the survey found that "past month" marijuana use -- particularly among young people -- has dropped since 1997 and is now at the same level as in 1995.  (Table 5B, page 67; Table 7, page 69)
Despite the fact that since 1996, patients in California have been allowed to grow and use marijuana upon their doctors' recommendation, there are no statistically significant differences in reported marijuana usage rates among 12- to 17-year-olds in California than in the rest of the nation. (Indeed, past month" usage rates are currently lower.) (Table 55, page 122)
"There was no significant change in illicit drug use in California between 1997 and 1998, either for youth or for adults." (quoted verbatim from page 3)

"Since 1996, Drug Czar McCaffrey and his ilk have been trying to scare the American people by claiming that the medicinal marijuana initiatives would cause more adolescents to use marijuana," said Chuck Thomas.  "Clearly, this hasn't happened. Teens obviously understand the difference between medicine and drug abuse."

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To support MPP's work and receive the quarterly newsletter, "Marijuana Policy Report," please send $25.00 annual membership dues to:

    Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)
    P.O. Box 77492
    Capitol Hill
    Washington, D.C. 20013
    202-232-0442   FAX


This page was last updated 07/02/00 01:51 PM