Hard To Believe, But a Case Still Needs to be Made for Medical Marijuana
June 15, 2017 09:39 PM EDT
I'll go right ahead and say it. I love marijuana. I would love to be able to smoke it openly and legally on the street, in my home, at a bar or anywhere else that alcohol or tobacco are legally allowed to be used. This is an argument for another time.
Being able to get high is not the point of medical marijuana.
This concept is completely lost on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a man who has probably never been passed a joint in his life. He recently asked Congress personally to allow him the ability to prosecute medical marijuana suppliers in states where the law allows medical marijuana. What a buzz kill!
Sessions request flies in the face of the federal medical marijuana protections that have been in place since 2014. The law, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, prohibits the Justice Department from using federal money to prevent states "from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana."
Why does the federal government want to stop the use of medical marijuana? Sessions makes a ridiculous case in his letter to Congress.
"I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime. The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives."
The historic drug epidemic has nothing to do with marijuana and everything to do with the powerful opiates that are fueling overdoses and addiction across the country. In states where medical marijuana is legal there have been studies that show a decrease in opioid related overdoses.
Most experts believe that powerful forces from the pharmaceutical companies have lobbied the federal government to end the use of medical marijuana because the drugs that it replaces, such as opiates, are ones where the industry makes big money. If medical marijuana became legal nationwide, and it is already legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia, big pharmaceutical companies stand to lose a lot of money. According to addictions.com, on opiate sales, pharmaceutical companies made $11 billion in 2010 alone.
Medical marijuana has a huge upside among doctors. Even those who had never prescribed it before are coming around based on the feedback from patients with chronic pain. Dr. David Casserat recently found that the use of medical marijuana does something very important for patients: It gives them control -- control over their illness and control over their treatment.
About the idea of a patient gaining control, Casserat states, "If that (losing control) seems like a little thing for somebody with chronic illness, it's not, not at all. When we face a chronic illness, we lose control."
And who is losing control during the legalization of medical marijuana? Pharmaceutical companies. Gaining control are patients who are going through painful chronic illnesses who have found relief in the use of medical marijuana. I thought that pharmaceutical companies were supposed to help people suffering from disease. In attempting to obstruct the medical marijuana industry, along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, pharmaceutical companies are clearly hurting patients.