The fight is not over. Let’s unite for safe and legal cannabis.

“Medical marijuana is a ruse — it’s for stoners who just want to get high.”

This was conventional wisdom not long ago — I believed it myself. How do bong hits serve as medicine for young, apparently healthy people?

Based on my own experience in my youth, getting stoned induced a giggly euphoria, not conducive to getting adult stuff done. Therefore, medical marijuana users are shifty slackers, pretending to have backaches or migraines while looking for a way around the law (while avoiding their responsibilities).

This the snap judgment that’s still made too often against anyone using “medical marijuana.”

Flash forward a few years. Today, both my parents are taking cannabis products for health reasons (prostate cancer and Alzheimer’s). I take CBD after working out (and after having one-too-many cocktails). I’ve micro-dosed THC and found it not unpleasant, a non-toxic aid to sleep and relaxation. And I’ve learned that cannabis is being used by millions of people to treat conditions including:

• Epilepsy
• Cancer
• PTSD
• Chronic pain
• Insomnia
• Inflammation

And many others. The fact is, cannabis helps people heal. It’s an organic substance that has never killed anyone — unless they were in the wrong place during a drug raid. It includes hundreds of compounds and terpenes that, taken in moderation have various positive effects on the body and mind. The clinical research is just beginning to catch up with what people across civilizations have known for centuries.

The 20th century prohibition against cannabis has been a tragic and costly misstep, both in terms of needless medical suffering by millions, and the unjust toll of incarceration and stigmatization of thousands. We are getting past it in the 29 states that have legalized cannabis for medical use, and the seven that have OK'd recreational use. Yet there are still people in denial of the evidence, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has said that using cannabis makes you a bad person.

As wrong-headed cannabis policies are being overturned state by state, it’s important to keep the momentum; to learn more about the various forms and effects of CBD and THC, and to share your positive experiences.

By necessity, this is a political fight too. When the top law enforcement officer in the land embraces a backwards view of an essential medicine and threatens to imprison users, it’s time to get involved. (Of course you can take your pick of at least a dozen other corrupt / stupid positions taken by this administration and fight against those too.)

This is a call to pay closer attention: to local, state and federal candidates and where they stand on cannabis:

  • Are they for state’s rights on some things and not others?
  • Do they support access to CBD and THC, regardless of federal government’s position?
  • Are they in favor of funding further research on the medicinal properties and effects of cannabis?
  • Do they understand the benefits of having a regulated product, and an infrastructure for quality- and safety-testing?

We all know that democracy is on the ropes. Cannabis is just one of the issues where we are teetering on the abyss of nonsensical authoritarianism. Let’s be united in this fight, and elect candidates — maybe you are one — who reflect the will of the people.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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