Calling for the Repeal of State Legislation Legalizing Distribution of “Medical Marijuana”

Calling for the Repeal of State Legislation Legalizing Distribution of “Medical Marijuana”


WHEREAS, marijuana is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) and, therefore, it is illegal under federal law to manufacture, distribute or possess marijuana for any purpose other than Government-approved research, and;

WHEREAS, in the midst of heated public debates regarding the efficacy of marijuana use for medicinal purposes, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) completed a scientific and medical evaluation of marijuana in 2006 which recommended to DEA that marijuana remain a Schedule I controlled substance because of its high potential for abuse, lack of currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and lack of an accepted level of safety for use under medical supervision; and

WHEREAS, to date there are no adequate and well-controlled clinical trials supporting the therapeutic use of smoked marijuana. To the contrary, recent studies have found that the use of marijuana significantly increases the probability that certain people will develop schizophrenia and that regular cannabis use among young people increased their risk of developing a psychotic illness later in life by more than 40 per cent; and

WHEREAS, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an HHS component, testified before Congress on April 1, 2004, that the use of botanical products such as marijuana for medicinal purposes poses unique concerns such as: lot-to-lot consistency, strength, potency, shelf life, dosing and toxicity monitoring; and

WHEREAS, despite its illegality under federal law and the lack of a science-based approach to evaluating the merits of marijuana for medicinal purposes, sixteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws permitting the use of marijuana for the treatment of certain medical conditions; and

WHEREAS, state legalization of "medical" marijuana creates the false perception that there are circumstances in which marijuana possession is legal when, in fact, such possession violates federal law unless authorized as a part of government-approved research; and

WHEREAS, state legalization also creates the perception that marijuana may be used safely when, in fact, its use is associated with a variety of adverse health effects including addiction, respiratory and mental illness, poor motor performance, and impaired cognitive and immune system functioning; and

WHEREAS, under the guise of state-authorized medical use, marijuana is being sold to individuals who do not have serious medical conditions and who are using marijuana for recreational purposes; and

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization ranked the United States first among 17 European and North American countries for prevalence of marijuana use; and

WHEREAS, according to the Monitoring the Future Survey, conducted by the University of Michigan, nationwide fewer adolescents now perceive that there is a risk associated with marijuana use and fewer adolescents disapprove of marijuana use since a survey regarding these same perceptions was conducted in 2009; and

WHEREAS, historical data reveal that softening of attitudes regarding drug use typically signals future increases in use; and

WHEREAS, the Monitoring the Future Survey reported that marijuana use, which had risen sharply among teens in 2008 and 2009, continued to rise again in 2010; and

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court held in United States v. Rutherford, 442 U.S. 544 (1979), that public safety must prevail over the rights of terminally ill patients seeking a cure and "inventive minds" who manufacture and sell unproven panaceas; and

WHEREAS, Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime that provides a significant source of revenue to large scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police, duly assembled at its 118th Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois, calls for the repeal of state legislation legalizing the manufacture, distribution and possession of marijuana for medical purposes.


Submitted by: Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Committee



Scroll to preview content. Please sign in to read and get access to more member only content.



IACP - Loader Animation IACP - Loader Animation IACP - Loader Animation