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Report: Potential Health Effects of Legalizing Medical Marijuana in Kansas

Kansas health impact assessment project

By Tatiana Y. Lin, M.A., Shawna Chapman, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.A., Sarah M. Hartsig, M.S., Sheena L. Smith, M.P.P. | September 28, 2015

Report: Potential Health Effects of Legalizing Medical Marijuana in Kansas

During the 2015 legislative session, Kansas lawmakers considered three bills (SB 9, HB 2282 and HB 2011) to legalize medical marijuana. In order to inform the discussion, the Kansas Health Institute (KHI) conducted a health impact assessment (HIA) that examined how the legalization of medical marijuana could affect the health of Kansans. 

The purpose of the HIA, entitled Potential Health Effects of the Legalization of Medical Marijuana in Kansas, was to examine how some provisions of this legislation might affect the health of Kansans, either positively or negatively. 

This study analyzed six factors related to the legalization of medical marijuana in Kansas including access to marijuana, consumption of marijuana, crime, driving under the influence of marijuana, accidental ingestion of marijuana and impact on vulnerable populations. All of these factors can impact health. To mitigate the potential negative health effects of the proposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana, the assessment includes recommendations for policymakers and relevant agencies to consider.

Download the entire report to view detailed descriptions of the findings and recommendations of this health impact assessment.

“The health impact assessment intends to provide evidence-based information on key issues that have been discussed during the 2015 Kansas Legislative Session. We hope the report’s findings and recommendations will be considered by policymakers when deciding whether to legalize medical marijuana in our state,” said Tatiana Lin, M.A., senior analyst and strategy team leader for KHI’s health impact assessment work. 

The Kansas Health Institute delivers credible information and research enabling policy leaders to make informed health policy decisions that enhance their effectiveness as champions for a healthier Kansas. The Kansas Health Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy and research organization based in Topeka, established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation.