It’s an idea that appeals to lawmakers in many conservative states. Instead of legalizing full medical marijuana and giving patients access to THC so they can get high off it, state legislatures have passed laws allowing only a non-intoxicating form of the drug known as CBD oil.
It’s a product with high levels of cannabidiol, also known as CBD. This chemical doesn’t get users stoned, but it is very helpful in treating a short list of health problems, especially pediatric epilepsy. That approach, many patients now say, isn’t good enough.
A growing number of patients, parents, and health experts are pushing back against tepid CBD laws, saying the non-intoxicating oil does too little for too few people. Their biggest complaint – and it has a lot of merit – is that CBD treats only a very small number of disorders. Dravet syndrome and other forms of epilepsy are tragic, and lawmakers should help the patients who suffer from them, but there are many other conditions, diseases that require THC.
They include glaucoma, AIDS, and cancer. ALS, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, autism, and chronic pain are also on the list. But many right-wing lawmakers don’t seem to care enough to cover these diseases.
The key problem is that these politicians still believe marijuana is inherently an evil beast. They are driven by religion, conservative politics, and a cynical view of human nature. Above all, they feel that intoxication of any kind is bad – unless, of course, it involves the alcohol they drink in their own lives.
Conservative politicians stuck in the past
This is why it’s so unlikely full legalization will reach the Deep South anytime soon. Many Southerners favor reform, but their leaders don’t. To them, cannabis reeks of hippies, junkies, and other shady characters straight out of the 1960s. Some folks, in other words, are still very much stuck in the past.
That doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing to legalize CBD, even if that’s all conservatives are willing to do. Children with seizure disorders are at the top of most lists of patients who should get medical marijuana. And CBD can help with other problems, including depression, anxiety, and pain.
But that simply isn’t enough. Suffering patients shouldn’t be shut out of effective medical treatments simply because politicians can’t get past their personal prejudices.
What’s more, if these lawmakers really want to reduce drug addiction and the crime that often goes with it, marijuana is a major tool at their disposal. Repeated studies show the drug is effective at cutting dependence on alcohol, opiates, and other drugs that kill large numbers of people. And it’s widely known that pot is rarely addictive and never fatal.
Marijuana holds profound promise in treating a wide array of health problems, but if political leaders aren’t willing to accept it in every form it takes, untold numbers of patients will continue to suffer. That’s why it’s so important these lawmakers get past their fear of change and finally move into 21st century.
Leave a comment: When do you think conservative lawmakers will start allowing medical marijuana with THC?