Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

04/11/2005 08:00 AM JUDICIARY


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08:43:00 AM Start
08:43:30 AM SB74
10:47:56 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Time Change --
+ SB 74 CRIMES INVOLVING MARIJUANA/OTHER DRUGS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 11, 2005                                                                                         
                           8:43 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ralph Seekins, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Senator Hollis French                                                                                                           
Senator Gretchen Guess                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 74                                                                                                              
"An Act making findings relating to marijuana use and                                                                           
possession; relating to marijuana and misconduct involving a                                                                    
controlled substance; and providing an effective date."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 74                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: CRIMES INVOLVING MARIJUANA/OTHER DRUGS                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/21/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/21/05       (S)       HES, JUD, FIN                                                                                          
03/21/05       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/21/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/21/05       (S)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
03/23/05       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/23/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/23/05       (S)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
04/01/05       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/01/05       (S)       Moved SB 74 Out of Committee                                                                           
04/01/05       (S)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
04/04/05       (S)       HES RPT 2DP 1DNP 1NR                                                                                   
04/04/05       (S)       DP: DYSON, WILKEN                                                                                      
04/04/05       (S)       DNP: ELTON                                                                                             
04/04/05       (S)       NR: OLSON                                                                                              
04/11/05       (S)       JUD AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Dean Guaneli                                                                                                                
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 74                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Bill Hogan, Director                                                                                                        
Division of Behavioral Health                                                                                                   
Department of Health & Social Services                                                                                          
PO Box 110601                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99801-0601                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 74                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Cristy Willer                                                                                                               
Department of Health & Social Services                                                                                          
PO Box 110601                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99801-0601                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 74                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Bill Parker, Spokesman                                                                                                      
Alaskans for                                                                                                                    
Marijuana Regulation and Control                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition of SB 74                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Lester Grinspoon, M.D.                                                                                                      
Associate Professor of Psychiatry                                                                                               
Harvard Medical School                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition of SB 74                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Scott Bates, Economist                                                                                                      
Boreal Economic Analysis and Research                                                                                           
Fairbanks, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition of SB 74                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Robert Malamede, Ph.D                                                                                                       
Professor of Biology                                                                                                            
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition of SB 74                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Tim Hinterberger PH.D                                                                                                       
Associate Professor of Biomedicine                                                                                              
University of Alaska, Anchorage                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition of SB 74                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Mitch Earleywine                                                                                                            
Associate Professor of Psychology                                                                                               
University of Southern California                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition of SB 74                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RALPH   SEEKINS  called  the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 8:43:00 AM.  Present were Senators                                                             
Charlie  Huggins,  Gene  Therriault, Gretchen  Guess,  and  Chair                                                               
Ralph Seekins.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          SB 74-CRIMES INVOLVING MARIJUANA/OTHER DRUGS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Chair Ralph Seekins announced SB 74 to be up for consideration.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:43:30 AM                                                                                                                    
DEAN GUANELI,  Department of Law  (DOL), introduced SB 74  to the                                                               
Senate Standing Judiciary Committee and  stated the last time the                                                               
Legislature  considered marijuana  was in  1999 when  the session                                                               
was considering medical marijuana. SB  74 does not affect medical                                                               
marijuana in any way. SB 74  brings the topic of marijuana before                                                               
the Legislature  for the  first time  since 1982.  Testimony from                                                               
experts  heard   in  previous   committees  is   currently  being                                                               
transcribed  and   will  be  available   to  the   committee  for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:45:52 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. GUANELI referred to an  Alaska Supreme Court decision of 1975                                                               
Ravin  v.  State;  wherein  the state  did  not  show  sufficient                                                               
evidence that  marijuana was  a dangerous  substance. THC  is the                                                               
main active  ingredient in marijuana  and the average  content of                                                               
THC  in marijuana  was less  than  one percent.  When someone  is                                                               
talking about  the potency of  marijuana, they are  talking about                                                               
THC. Currently the THC potency  of marijuana in Alaska is running                                                               
over 10 percent.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:47:53 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. GUANELI  read from  the 1975  Alaska Supreme  Court decision,                                                               
which indicated  one reason for the  judgment was due to  the low                                                               
level of potency of marijuana at the time.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:49:59 AM                                                                                                                    
Today a significant number of  people are dependant on marijuana.                                                               
Testimony  in  Senate Health  and  Social  Services alleged  nine                                                               
percent of regular marijuana users  become dependent, with Alaska                                                               
Natives dependency showing higher rates.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:52:07 AM                                                                                                                    
Alcohol  abuse  is the  number  one  substance abuse  problem  in                                                               
Alaska.  An  additional  area  of concern  is  marijuana  use  by                                                               
children where  in Alaska 50  percent of young people  have tried                                                               
it. The average age of use is coming down.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:55:11 AM                                                                                                                    
There are now marijuana anonymous  chapters. The provision in the                                                               
last  section of  SB 74  provides different  methods of  weighing                                                               
marijuana. There  are websites that  assist people  in preserving                                                               
the potency.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:57:42 AM                                                                                                                    
A book  titled A Child's  Garden of Grass offers  assistance with                                                             
preserving  marijuana  potency  by  creating a  certain  type  of                                                               
bacteria that improves potency.  Growers suggest re-drying of the                                                               
marijuana to stop mold growth.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:59:31 AM                                                                                                                    
Another  article  recommends  storing marijuana  in  an  airtight                                                               
container  and   putting  it  in  the   ground.  This  misleading                                                               
information  causes  marijuana  to   be  a  dangerous  drug.  The                                                               
beginning  of SB  74 includes  legislative  findings, which  have                                                               
been criticized due  to the language used. The  DOL has suggested                                                               
revised findings and  would like an opportunity to  come back and                                                               
present them so as to help move SB 74 forward.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:01:38 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GENE  THERRIAULT noted  it is clear  the DOL  is building                                                               
the record  for litigation.  He asked  the importance  of putting                                                               
findings into SB 74 for the purpose of litigation.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUANELI  said the DOL  was attempting  to bring to  the court                                                               
information about  marijuana that the Legislature  has not looked                                                               
at.  At time  of the  Ravin  decision, there  was no  legislative                                                               
record. The  DOL believes that  the findings would  add essential                                                               
elements  for  the  court  to   consider,  which  would  simplify                                                               
litigation.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:04:13 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked when marijuana molds become harmful.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUANELI reported it was during handling and when inhaled.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:05:15 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  BILL   HOGAN,  director,  Division  of   Behavioral  Health,                                                               
Department  of  Health  and Social  Services  (DHSS),  introduced                                                               
himself.  He  said  Alaskans  entering   the  mental  health  and                                                               
substance abuse system have both  problems of alcoholism and drug                                                               
abuse.  There  is  a  correlation  between  substance  abuse  and                                                               
suicide. Nearly  30 percent of  people entering treatment  have a                                                               
history of cannabis abuse.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:08:42 AM                                                                                                                    
Many  individuals who  have completed  suicide had  been drinking                                                               
and/or using drugs.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:11:43 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  CRISTY  WILLER,  deputy  director,  Division  of  Behavioral                                                               
Health, testified in  support of SB 74. She said  29 states and 5                                                               
countries have  marijuana anonymous chapters. The  likely problem                                                               
is because the potency is higher than ever.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:15:21 AM                                                                                                                    
For  cannabis   dependence,  three  or  more   of  the  following                                                               
characteristics  have   to  be  present:   Tolerance,  withdrawal                                                               
symptoms,   a   significant   time  spent   seeking   the   drug,                                                               
interference with family  and work, persistence in  use. Abuse is                                                               
indicated when drug  use interferes with school  or work, becomes                                                               
physically  hazardous, instigates  legal  problems,  or the  user                                                               
shows signs of increasing discord within the family.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:17:33 AM                                                                                                                    
People  in Alaska  are  more  likely to  use  marijuana and  less                                                               
likely  to think  it  is dangerous.  Children  whose parents  use                                                               
marijuana are more than likely  to use it. Children whose parents                                                               
are against marijuana are less likely to try it.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:19:57 AM                                                                                                                    
There is a  strong correlation between parental  attitude and use                                                               
of marijuana.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:21:09 AM                                                                                                                    
Marijuana is  a gateway  drug, which leads  to cocaine  or heroin                                                               
use. One in  eight high school students  reported using marijuana                                                               
before the age of eighteen.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:23:21 AM                                                                                                                    
Alcohol and marijuana use is not mutually exclusive.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:24:49 AM                                                                                                                    
Sixty-nine  percent  of  males  arrested  for  domestic  violence                                                               
tested positive for marijuana.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:26:05 AM                                                                                                                    
As  a director  of  Bristol Bay's  treatment  center, Ms.  Willer                                                               
witnessed people using marijuana to help stay off of alcohol.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:27:27 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS asked DG to  summarize information contained in two                                                               
notebooks that were provided by the DOL.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GUANELI  explained  the  tabs relate  to  subjects  and  the                                                               
subjects contain articles. The addendum  takes each finding in SB                                                               
74  and describes  where the  information came  from. There  is a                                                               
tremendous amount of material available on marijuana.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:30:08 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  CHARLIE  HUGGINS  moved   to  incorporate  the  notebook                                                               
material provided by  the DOL into record.  Hearing no objection,                                                               
the motion carried.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:30:57 AM                                                                                                                    
CAPTAIN ED  HARRINGTON, Alaska State  Troopers, testified  he has                                                               
worked for the troopers for 20-plus  years, 10 of which have been                                                               
in the  drug unit. He  recently interviewed a  six year old  at a                                                               
methamphetamine  lab  who  told  of   an  experience  of  smoking                                                               
marijuana  with   his  mother's  boyfriend.  A   17-year-old  boy                                                               
recently contacted  at school for possession  of marijuana stated                                                               
he had been smoking marijuana since age 13.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:33:26 AM                                                                                                                    
Marijuana has a  shelf life. After 60 days  the potency decreases                                                               
by half. The wholesale price in  south central Alaska is $3,800 a                                                               
pound.  The wholesale  price  in rural  Alaska  can reach  $9,000                                                               
pound.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:35:34 AM                                                                                                                    
Most marijuana  is grown commercially  in Mylar-lined  rooms with                                                               
expensive air ventilation and light systems.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:37:14 AM                                                                                                                    
In the  early 1990s Alaska was  on the cutting edge  of marijuana                                                               
cultivation. It  is commonly exported  out of state. The  rise in                                                               
methamphetamine labs  keeps the  focus off marijuana  growers. As                                                               
the troopers  increase alcohol  seizures they  see more  and more                                                               
marijuana destined to rural areas.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:39:50 AM                                                                                                                    
One plant can  easily produce four ounces. A  large percentage of                                                               
children  who   smoke  marijuana  get  it   from  their  parents.                                                               
Marijuana  is sprayed  with fertilizers,  herbicides, pesticides,                                                               
which are ingested when smoked.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:42:02 AM                                                                                                                    
The average person would spend two  months in jail for growing up                                                               
to 500 plants.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:42:47 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Hollis French joined the committee.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CAPT. HARRINGTON contended marijuana  is not relatively harmless.                                                               
A Mat-Su  Valley homicide where  one friend shot another  was due                                                               
to marijuana  ingestion. A teenager  who murdered  his stepmother                                                               
told investigators he was high  on marijuana. A person protecting                                                               
his marijuana shot at several officers.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:44:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CAPT. HARRINGTON concluded the Alaska  State Troopers have yet to                                                               
come across a marijuana grow being used to produce hemp.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUANELI  added Alaska is the  only state in the  country that                                                               
allows   recreational  use   of  marijuana.   Studies  show   the                                                               
perception of increase penalties has  an effect on whether people                                                               
use a drug.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:47:21 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRETCHEN GUESS  asked Mr. Guaneli whether  there were any                                                               
other schedule 6A drugs besides marijuana.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUANELI responded the only schedule 6A drug is marijuana.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:54:50 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS  asked  the penalty  for  misconduct  involving  a                                                               
controlled substance in the fifth degree.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUANELI  explained it  is a Class  A misdemeanor.  He offered                                                               
committee  members a  chart listing  the  new proposed  marijuana                                                               
laws.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:55:30 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked the  typical bail  schedule for  a marijuana                                                               
arrest.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUANELI  explained it  is very  rare for  someone to  do jail                                                               
time for simple  possession. The troopers prefer to  go after the                                                               
commercial growers.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:58:44 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRENCH  explained  the  difficulty  in  determining  the                                                               
timeframe  for marijuana  use when  testing a  person for  it and                                                               
asked the source of the finding on Page 2, Paragraph 5.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUANELI  said a  detailed study by  the University  of Alaska                                                               
was included in the materials presented to the committee.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:01:25 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR FRENCH asked  the position of the  police when performing                                                               
searches without a warrant.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUANELI  said the mere  odor of marijuana wouldn't  be enough                                                               
to establish a cause to search.  If the police are there lawfully                                                               
they may  be able to  seize evidence that  is in plain  view. The                                                               
police alone do not have search  authority. SB 74 does nothing to                                                               
change search and seizure.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:04:43 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. BILL  PARKER, Alaskans for Marijuana  Regulation and Control,                                                               
introduced  himself  and Mr.  Wes  Macleod-Ball  from the  Alaska                                                               
Civil Liberties Union  (ACLU). He explained the best  use of time                                                               
would be to allow his witnesses to testify.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:06:04 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. LESTER  GRINSPOON, M.D.,  Associate Professor  of Psychiatry,                                                               
Harvard Medical  School, testified he studied  marijuana with the                                                               
object of producing sound material  on the negative properties of                                                               
marijuana so  that young people  would heed  government warnings.                                                               
He  said he  soon discovered  he had  been brainwashed  about the                                                               
effects.  Most  of what  people  are  led  to believe  about  the                                                               
dangers of marijuana is mythical.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:08:17 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. GRINSPOON said  he has devoted much of his  life to the study                                                               
of marijuana.  It is no more  harmful today than it  was in 1975.                                                               
Street marijuana  is more  potent but  does not  impose increased                                                               
risk.  A   user  simply   uses  less.   The  pulmonary   risk  is                                                               
exaggerated.  Being exposed  to pollution  poses more  of a  risk                                                               
than marijuana smoking.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS asked Dr. Grinspoon to summarize.                                                                                 
DR.  GRINSPOON complained  about the  relatively small  amount of                                                               
time  allotted  for testimony  in  comparison  to those  who  are                                                               
proponents of SB 74.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:10:06 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  FRENCH asked  Dr. Grinspoon  to comment  on the  adverse                                                               
health and social effects and the addictive component.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DR.  GRINSPOON aired  the  findings associated  with  SB 74  were                                                               
absurd.  The   addictive  properties   of  marijuana   have  been                                                               
exaggerated.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:12:48 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  FRENCH asked  whether people  on marijuana  who operated                                                               
motor vehicles were endangering others.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DR. GRINSPOON  asserted marijuana  was not in  the same  class as                                                               
alcohol  in  respect  to  on-road   hazards.  The  Department  of                                                               
Transportation studies show it is  difficult to prove cannabis is                                                               
harmful when driving.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:15:04 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR THERRIAULT  asked Dr. Grinspoon  to compare the  harms of                                                               
marijuana to tobacco.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DR.  GRINSPOON  alleged  there  has never  been  a  single  death                                                               
attributed to marijuana.  The lethal dosage of  marijuana has not                                                               
been found.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:17:14 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR HUGGINS asked Dr. Grinspoon  what his counsel would be to                                                               
children.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. GRINSPOON said cannabis use is  not for children no more than                                                               
alcohol is.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS asked what his counsel would be for adults.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR.  GRINSPOON said  he  would advise  they  use it  responsibly.                                                               
Medically, he would counsel adults  who have never used it before                                                               
to take one puff  and wait for a while to  see what happens. They                                                               
may get relief  from their pain or they may  become anxious. They                                                               
should take very little bits at  a time until the desired effects                                                               
are achieved.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:22:30 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  SCOTT   BATES  economist,   Boreal  Economic   Analysis  and                                                               
Research,  detailed   the  costs   with  regard   to  prohibiting                                                               
marijuana would  be $16 million  per year. He disagreed  with the                                                               
fiscal  notes submitted  in  association with  SB  74, which  say                                                               
there would  be no social  impacts. There would be  an additional                                                               
$1 million dollar cost to the  Department of Public Safety and an                                                               
additional $4  million dollar cost  to the  courts as well  as an                                                               
additional   $2.16  million   dollars  for   the  Department   of                                                               
Corrections.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:24:14 AM                                                                                                                   
The social costs by incarcerating  people hits the economy in the                                                               
form of lost  work and value of output. There  would be secondary                                                               
costs to the  Department of Corrections for  parole and probation                                                               
violations. All  told he estimated  an additional  $35-40 million                                                               
dollars  cost per  year  if SB  74  were to  go  into effect.  He                                                               
expressed doubt  that people  would avoid  using marijuana  if it                                                               
were to become illegal.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:28:15 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. ROBERT  MALAMEDE, Ph.D., Professor of  Biology, University of                                                               
Colorado  at  Colorado  Springs,  testified  that  everyone  uses                                                               
marijuana-like compounds every day.  Marijuana mimics the way the                                                               
body works.  He claimed  marijuana-like compounds  regulate every                                                               
system  in the  body.  Marijuana-like  compounds regulate  normal                                                               
memory.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:30:30 AM                                                                                                                   
Many diseases are  caused by imbalance. Marijuana  has a profound                                                               
effect on cancer and it prevents  many types of cancers in animal                                                               
studies and  tissue cultures. It  is used for stress  relief. The                                                               
use of  marijuana by the Indian  population may be an  attempt to                                                               
medicate  themselves in  a healthy  manner. Marijuana  alone does                                                               
not cause violence. Statistics can be made to say anything.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:33:33 AM                                                                                                                   
DR.  MALAMEDE  summarized the  bottom  line  is marijuana  has  a                                                               
tremendous  amount  of  positive  uses.  The  criminalization  of                                                               
marijuana will impair the prosecuted  young people by making them                                                               
ineligible for student aid.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:34:53 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. TIM  HINTERBERGER, Ph.D, Associate Professor  of Biomedicine,                                                               
University of Alaska in Anchorage  (UAA), informed his statements                                                               
are not  affiliated with UAA.  He said the articles  presented by                                                               
the State  of Alaska are  not medical review articles  and should                                                               
not be considered as such.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:37:31 AM                                                                                                                   
The  1972  National  Commission   on  Marijuana  and  Drug  Abuse                                                               
appointed   by   former   President   Richard   Nixon   concluded                                                               
unanimously that marijuana is not  a grave problem. Nothing since                                                               
1972 has been proven to change that position.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:38:45 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. HINTERBERGER  asserted SB  74 disregards  existing scientific                                                               
consensus  of the  health, social,  and economic  effects of  our                                                               
current marijuana  policy. If the Alaska  Legislature passes into                                                               
law section two of SB 74, it  will demonstrate to world it has no                                                               
regard for scientific process or  for a systematic and methodical                                                               
legislative process.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  noted the huge  amount of  information associated                                                               
with  SB 74.  He asked  Dr. Hinterberger  to reiterate  his point                                                               
regarding the importance of using scientific review articles.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. HINTERBERGER explained scientists  review several articles on                                                               
a subject before incorporating them  into a review article, which                                                               
contain a  broader perspective of an  issue. He does not  know of                                                               
any  recent  review  articles that  conclude  marijuana  as  more                                                               
dangerous than what the 1972 commission said.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:41:53 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR HUGGINS asked Dr. Hinterberger  to comment on the rise of                                                               
THC levels in marijuana.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR. HINTERBERGER responded the increase  in potency is not nearly                                                               
so dramatic as  was presented by the state. There  is no evidence                                                               
of increased harm.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:43:50 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. MITCH  EARLEYWINE, Ph.D., Associate Professor  of Psychology,                                                               
University  of  Southern  California  (USC), testified  he  is  a                                                               
published authoritarian on  the subject of marijuana  and he also                                                               
teaches  substance abuse  treatment  at  USC. Previous  testimony                                                               
regarding   higher  levels   of   marijuana   potency  has   been                                                               
exaggerated.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:46:06 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. EARLEYWINE  asserted a study  done in the  Netherlands showed                                                               
there  was  no  meaningful  impairment while  driving  under  the                                                               
influence  of  marijuana.  Alcohol  impairs the  body  much  more                                                               
dramatically. Addictiveness ratings for  cannabis are the same as                                                               
those for caffeine. The addictive  properties of marijuana can be                                                               
distorted by those who work in the substance abuse fields                                                                       
because they are constantly in touch with the small amount of                                                                   
people who have problems with the plant.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:47:06 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEEKINS announced SB 74 would be picked up again at a                                                                     
later date.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Seekins adjourned the meeting at 10:47:56 AM.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                

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