LP of Michigan Supports Medical Marijuana Initiative
Will Tyler White
PRESS RELEASE: for IMMEDIATE ISSUE 10-8-07
Libertarians Support Medical Marijuana Initiative
“Given the problems with the State budget, Michigan has better things to do than waste money arresting sick people that use natural products for relief” said Bill Hall, chair of the Libertarian Party of Michigan. The annual cost to taxpayers nationwide is estimated at $41.8 billion in lost tax revenue and enforcement of marijuana laws.1
In 1972, President Nixon’s National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded that “marihuana use is not such a grave problem that individuals who smoke marihuana, or possess it for that purpose, should be subject to criminal procedures.” In the 35 years since, eleven states have passed medical marijuana laws, most by public initiative. A recent Texas A & M study of such states showed “introduction of medical cannabis laws was not associated with an increase in cannabis use.”2 Other studies have shown “smoked marijuana … has a clear medical benefit”.3
Given the common sense of cost savings and harm reduction, the next logical step is to regulate marijuana similar to alcohol and tobacco. With legislatures gridlocked in partisan bickering though, citizens have increasingly resorted to ballot initiatives to enact changes in the harmful, nonsensical laws governing use of the cannabis plant.
Representatives in Lansing, who have neglected to even bring up the subject, seem badly out of step with the State’s population, which in a 2003 poll supported the medical use of marijuana by 59%. Since 2004, voters in five Michigan cities have passed medical marijuana initiatives by an average of 64% (Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Ferndale, and Traverse City).
For those reasons, the Libertarian Party of Michigan strongly supports the medical marijuana initiative as a practical step in reclaiming the right of individuals to use their choice of medicine while under their doctor’s supervision.
CONTACT: Bill Hall, chair, Libertarian Party of Michigan, 616 460-9516
1 “Lost Taxes and Other Costs of Marijuana Laws,” Jon B. Gettman, www.drugscience.org/bcr/index.html
2 Texas A&M Health Science Center, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, statistical data published in the International Journal of Drug Policy
3 Columbia University in New York clinical trial data to be published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS).