Medicinal Marijuana: Going the Wrong Direction?

Medicinal Marijuana: Going the Wrong Direction?With 25 states and the District of Columbia currently on board in legalizing medical marijuana, Florida residents and medical marijuana supporters are growing impatient. While it was originally proposed as early as 2014 to apply “Amendment 2” or a direct amendment to the U.S. Constitution, lawmakers and government officials replied with their willingness to take the matters seriously and find alternative methods of approval. Two years later this appears to be anything but the case, and since the people may very well ‘flex’ maximum power over our government and lawmaking within reason, supporters are speaking on vetoing the current laws, proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and demanding laws be put into place to responsibly handle the perceived “need” by the state of Florida’s residents to legalize medical marijuana.

Many states, few doctors, but likely millions of supporters are demanding scientific evidence and consideration be taken into account for use of medical marijuana for those with severe medical conditions, including but not limited to PTSD, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and even cancer. This is partially ironic, considering those that smoke – albeit not the only route of administration – marijuana (medical or not) run the very real risk of contracting lung and other forms of mouth cancer due to the carcinogen compounds in nearly anything that is lit on fire and then inhaled.

While this is by no means the best argument or government defense, by all means, the federal and local governments in considerably all states – even those where it’s legalized – are standing their ground, and minimizing risks and liability as much as possible. And while it can very well prove effective in minimizing unnecessary incarceration for petty offenders and possession charges of simple marijuana on the streets, the possibility of this growing out of hand is substantial. Floridians have also proposed that specialized, approved “health care providers” may be designated to administer the medical marijuana. Because studies and supporters have attempted to represent that the use of medical marijuana can be helpful to children with diseases too, a ‘non-euphoric’ strain of medical marijuana known as “Charlotte’s Web” is being grown and administered in several dispensaries across the states for this exact purpose.

Even outside of the idea or possibility that marijuana could be legalized, one of the main problems with regulation stands. How can the government ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands and that the system is abused if Florida was to go ahead and legalize ‘medical marijuana’? This is undoubtedly a very extensive process that should be handled with care – especially because this proposal is designed to implement medical marijuana under the specific condition that it be regulated by the United States government.

From types of strains to certified growers, dispensaries, licensing, and ‘fool proofing’ the process of prescriptions and approval, this type of system is not one to be taken lightly. Should the people of Florida – and other similar minded states – be given the ‘justice’ they believe is deserved, and have the medical marijuana laws they believe so dearly in enacted now, on their time? This is a very difficult question to answer, and given both press and political influence, there are no guarantees for the future. Just as with any illegal (in most places and throughout history) drug there are many risks, and consequences. The notion that those with PTSD would benefit from consuming medical marijuana, for example, is considerably a wrong one, that could be proven with scientific studies. Doing this, exposing those with mental illnesses, for example, could be very hazardous, and even fatal. So the question remains, who’s right, and is medical marijuana really the socially accepted future of American society?

Image credit: Cris Kelly

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