Karen O'Keefe, JD, attorney and Legislative Analyst for Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), wrote the following in a Mar. 28, 2018 email to

“It is fundamentally wrong to make preserving one’s health — or life — a crime. Yet federal marijuana laws, along with the laws of many states, do just that.

There is overwhelming evidence that cannabis is one of the safest treatment options. Even the DEA’s Chief Administrative Law Judge at the time, Francis Young, came to that conclusion. Research has shown that marijuana alleviates several serious symptoms and conditions including pain, nausea and wasting, Crohn’s disease, spasms, and glaucoma.

While around 15,000 Americans die every year from overdoses on prescription opiates, there has never been a medically documented fatal overdose on marijuana. Meanwhile, research has shown that cannabis can allow patients to reduce or eliminate their need for opiates.

It is cruel and senseless to criminalize the doctor-advised use of a safe and effective treatment option.”

Mar. 28, 2018