In a dramatic reversal of his long-help position against potential health benefits of marijuana, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon and Medical Correspondent for CNN, apologized for perpetuating misinformation, saying:
“I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have “no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse.”
They didn’t have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true.” (emphasis added)
“Thankfully, the Hawaii State Legislature took a bold stand more than a decade ago, in the face of great political pressure, which still exists, and allowed for legal use by chronically ill and disabled people.
Chronic pain is the No. 1 medical condition in the United States, with an estimated 75 million to 100 million Americans living with it. At least 20 million to 25 million Americans live with severe pain. In Hawaii, it is conservatively estimated that more than 100,000 live with moderate to severe pain from all causes, including arthritic degeneration, trauma, metabolic conditions such as diabetes, and cancer or its treatment.”
Read the reports: http://freshapproachhawaii.org/2013/01/19/opinion-poll-on-hawaii-marijuana-laws/
Respected local polling firm QMark Research was commissioned by the Drug Policy Action Group (the lobbying arm of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii) to conduct a statewide, statistically significant poll of 600 Hawaii voters. The poll occurred between November 19 and December 4, 2012. Among its findings:
- 78% support a dispensary system for medical marijuana.
- 69% think that jail time for marijuana offenses is inappropriate.
- 57% favor legalized, taxed and regulated marijuana, 20% higher than the last poll conducted in 2005.
Independent U.H. economist David Nixon was commissioned to update a 2005 study on the state of marijuana law enforcement in Hawaii. He was asked to examine the costs of current law enforcement policies, and to predict the economic impacts if Hawaii were to decriminalize or legalize, tax and regulate marijuana. Among his findings:
- Hawaii has seen a surge in marijuana arrests since 2004. Possession arrests have increased almost 50%, and distribution arrests have almost doubled.
- Hawaii’s marijuana laws overly impact males under the age of 25 and people of native Hawaiian descent. These groups were arrested in numbers disproportionate to their share of the population.
- By decriminalizing marijuana, Hawaii could redirect over $9 M annually in law enforcement costs.
- By legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana, Hawaii could conservatively add an additional estimated $11 M in yearly revenues.
Posted in Advocacy, criminal justice, Drug policy = Hawaii, Education, Harm reduction, health, Marijuana, Medical marijuana, News, Opinion, Research, Resources
Newly released report: “The reasoning is clear: the combination of excessive incarceration and harsh punishment is a blunt instrument for social control that perpetuates the country’s painful, historical legacy of injustice and inequality, and deprives masses of black and brown people unfairly of freedom and opportunity. It is the site of today’s civil rights struggle.”
Posted in criminal justice, Drug policy - national, Education, Harm reduction, health, Marijuana, News, Research
Tagged articles, criminal justice, education, harm reduction, health, news
Economist estimates state & counties stand to save/ generate an estimated $20M/year through marijuana legalization
January 2013 – With many states decriminalizing and even legalizing marijuana, where does Hawaii stand? Two new reports commissioned by the Drug Policy Action Group (“DPAG”) sought to answer this question, and the latest findings were presented at a January 10, 2013 Honolulu press conference. Barbara Ankersmit, President of QMark Research shared the results of a statewide poll of Hawaii voters’ attitudes toward marijuana and marijuana laws. Pamela Lichty, President of the Drug Policy Action Group, presented highlights from a new report on the potential economic impacts of marijuana legalization authored by David Nixon, Associate Professor at the University of Hawaii College of Social Sciences Public Policy Center.
The text of both reports is published at: http://dpfhi.wordpress.com/opinion-and-research-on-marijuana-policy-in-hawaii/
Posted in Advocacy, Drug policy - national, Drug policy = Hawaii, Education, Marijuana, Medical marijuana, News, Opinion, Research, Resources
Tagged articles, education, media, news, opinion, polling, releases