During the 2015 legislative session, Kansas lawmakers considered three bills (SB 9, HB 2282 and HB 2011) to legalize medical marijuana. To inform the discussion, the Kansas Health Institute 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.