Congressional Research Service’s Medical Marijuana Report

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director April 13, 2010

    The Congressional Research Service (CRS), part of the Library of Congress, has a mandate to research and publish non-partisan, up-to-date and relevant information for members of Congress and their staff to help them craft legislation.

    The most recent CRS white paper on medical cannabis in the United States is, in fishing parlance, a ‘keeper’. Released for public consumption on April 2, 2010, it is a well researched, scholarly and important document for reformers to download and keep close at hand as a very well presented primer on the history and current domestic legal status of medical cannabis. Of particular help are the many numerous citations and footnotes for greater reference and depth of understanding.

    Very often, and rightly so, taxpayers–notably cannabis consumers–are frustrated at how state and federal governments spend tax dollars arresting, prosecuting, incarcerating; interdicting, eradicating and propagandizing in support of cannabis prohibition. But, this most recent CRS report (like many previous reports from them on cannabis and drug policy) is an invaluable report to add to one’s ‘reform library’ that you and I can feel good paying for.

    These CRS reports are exclusively researched and published for Congress, and all members and their staff have access to the reports in advance of the general public accessing the documents, so there is little excuse for members of Congress and their staff to be the slightest bit ignorant or misinformed about the current legal status of medical cannabis, the rapid pace of reforms at the state level and the inherent public support medical access to cannabis enjoys.

    The CRS report, ‘Medical Marijuana: Review and Analysis of Federal and State Policies’ is available for viewing and downloading here.

    26 responses to “Congressional Research Service’s Medical Marijuana Report”

    1. Dirty D says:

      This article coming out at this time is great for me considering I am writing my final paper over cannabis and its medicinal purposes.

    2. Miles Redmon says:

      very good report, i read through it today and found it to be very good, very balanced review, this is a strong step forward, i am, as i am sure many of you are, very excited to see the reactions to this report

    3. ckdk30 says:

      Dont forget us rec user’s that choose cannabis over alcohol to relax

    4. kurt says:

      yeah yeah yeah…we have been talking around in circles for so long about this truly stupid issue. I read the WHOLE report, it’s so obvios that this is a socio religious racially driven economic issue. I always find it unnerving that this harmless plant has so much weight in Washington. This topic is as insane as gay marriage. It is only an issue because of god and money. PLEASE, god, give us a break if you exist. Let us live for god’s sake. Let consenting adults be consenting adults. This should never be a political issue. Save your seeds, hide your weed

    5. Mr. Taxpayer says:

      It’s so ridiculous. It’s such an accepted substance now.

    6. great article. problem is it’s 51 pages long and few congressmen/women bother themselves with reading reports at all. they seem to love charts and graphs. if someone could just come up with a simple chart, showing how politicians, lobbyists and the corporations could make money from the plant with out them loosing income from the many products that marijuana competes with. many of our elected representatives report income from pharmaceutical and oil companies every year. the problem is and always has been, not about people getting high but about anti-competitive economics. if you can show them how to profit from it you’ll end prohibition. just remember; out of the many varieties of hemp very few actually contain enough thc to make a user high, at the moment all forms of hemp production are illegal in america, the availability of hemp will most likely adversely effect profits from pharmaceuticals, paper, petroleum, cotton and several other industries that have taken advantage of hemp’s being legislated out of the competition.

    7. Lisa Boston says:

      Baby steps!
      Oxymoron – why tax payers money, pays for state and federal government to use their money, to make them criminals for their right to choose what is best for themselves.

    8. Don says:

      What about the Study and Report that was done that Absolutely Infuriated Nixon when the results were not what he Expected to Hear?

    9. Pain-fully Stressed says:

      thats pretty kool, i hope they read the updated books.

    10. Brian says:

      NORML Staff –

      I was hoping we could get a summary of the report and highlights of any particular “good” or “bad” or “interesting” portions of the report. What are the implications of the report? I am confused if this report simply states the status of medical marijuana laws in states or if it includes some sort of analysis. It appears to be both? That said, I would love for NORML’s own analysis on the report so it is easier for us non-experts to understand. Is NORML planning on doing so?