Obama administration to use tax credits to help states with medical marijuana program
Politico The Obama administration is planning to use credits for state-run medical marijuana programs to pay for expanded access to the drug, an administration official said Wednesday.
The move would be part of a broader effort to expand access to marijuana for people with severe or chronic pain and cancer patients, the official said.
The announcement follows the release of an analysis from the U.S. Census Bureau that found a third of Americans aged 18 to 64 have smoked pot at least once in their lifetime, and a third said they used marijuana to manage pain, anxiety and depression.
The Census Bureau analysis found that a majority of Americans ages 18 to 65 who smoke marijuana had smoked at least one joint or pipe at least 100 times, and that one in four of those ages used marijuana as a treatment for an opioid-related condition.
According to a study by Johns Hopkins University, people with opioid-treatment needs are more likely to use marijuana for those purposes, and those with cancer are more than twice as likely to smoke marijuana as those without the disease.
For the first time, the Census Bureau found that about a quarter of Americans, including about a third aged 18-to-64, use marijuana to relieve chronic pain or anxiety.
About a third have used marijuana for a treatment-seeking purpose and nearly a quarter say they use marijuana recreationally.
The Census report also found that one-fifth of those surveyed in 2016 had used marijuana at least twice, and about a fifth had used the drug for a treatable medical condition.
The administration is expected to announce a final policy on the issue later this month, according to the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.