Potential Health Effects of Legalizing Medical Marijuana in Kansas

Kansas health impact assessment project

1 Min Read

Sep 28, 2015


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.


During the 2015 legislative session, Kansas lawmakers considered three bills (SB 9HB 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.

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About Kansas Health Institute

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.

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