From 1997 through 1999, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) tracked state-level legislative and ballot initiatives involving the medical use of marijuana as part of the organization's Health Policy Tracking Service.
The tracking service's online database is a commercial venture that tracks state-level health-related policy issues for its commercial subscribers, who include:
- Health care providers
- Insurance companies
- Pharmaceutical firms
- Benefit consulting firms
- Health maintenance organizations.
- The tracking service summarized the status of ballot initiatives and legislation in an issue brief and chart that were posted to the NCSL Web site and updated quarterly.
- To ensure widespread dissemination, the tracking service also sent periodic e-mail alerts to inform lawmakers, their staffs and other policy-makers as new information about policies concerning the medical use of marijuana was posted to the Web site.
- In addition, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) staff, as well as more than 7,000 state legislators and 30,000 legislative staff members, gained unrestricted access to the tracking service Web site.
RWJF provided a $98,095 grant to support the project.