Legalization is the Only Route to “Compassionate Care”

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Limiting cannabis legalization to just medical use is a really bad idea. Not only does it hurt countless “unqualified” patients who can’t otherwise gain any quality of life, it violates our basic human rights by denying us access to this safe, nutritional, healing, versatile textile plant.

Maybe it’s because I am not just a patient in need of safe and reliable access to various strains and methods of consumption to treat my various issues that I support federal legalization, but also the fact that I love everything weed. I truly believe and know without a shadow of a doubt that this plant was given to us to heal us, feed us, clothe us and guide us. We must fight for our right to cultivate, consume, sell, transport, and produce any number of products from this plant.

Medical marijuana legislation like New York’s Compassionate Care Act is blowing sunshine up the people’s proverbial asses by trying to make us think it’s what we need, when in fact it’s only going to benefit corporate and pharmaceutical interests and a handful of patients.

If we allow for only medical legislation, we invite corporate interest and control of the plant by Big Pharma. We will write ourselves out of the equation and will gain very little. What we should be fighting for is an across the board legalization like Senator Kruger’s (D, NY) bill, The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.

Through total legalization at a federal level, the possibilities are profound.

Prohibitionists say that there haven’t been the proper studies to prove that the plant and its consumption are safe. Bullshit. Thank god for other countries leading the way in cannabis research, because the US government is still desperately trying to perpetuate the lie that it is a dangerous substance and has no medicinal benefit.

The FDA approved THC for medical use in 1986 in synthetic pill form. The US government OWNS the patent on a specific cannabinoid and it’s cures. We know we don’t need to synthetically produce the components of this plant to benefit from consuming it. Big Pharma should instead focus on developing strains and methods of extraction for various medicinal treatments, while the law should allow individuals the right to choose how they want to purchase, grow, or consume it themselves. There are plenty of less sophisticated patients who would be administered cannabis if it were legal that wouldn’t really feel comfortable taking it if not getting it from their familiar Wal-Greens pharmacy and they are definitely not smoking it. 

The US Government’s patent on cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants is just the next step in a long line of patents (the first I could find was in 1942) that are taking ownership of the processes by which they separate CBD from THC.

Federal legalization and taxation would allow for individual growers to create various strains with varying cannabinoid profiles through natural means rather than chemical means. If the government maintains control of the processes to extract or synthetically create bits and pieces of the plant, individual growers lose the opportunity to really understand everything that can be done with this plant.

The effects of THC, the part of the plant that gets you high, has been demonized by the government to make us believe it to be more dangerous than the effects of alcohol. Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 10 years, you know this ain’t so and you know that alcohol has none of the medicinal benefits that marijuana does. Why is it ok for me to bake a chocolate cake made with bourbon for my adult gatherings, but it’s not ok for me to bake some brownies with cannabutter in a similar setting?

There are so many uses for marijuana that we aren’t even allowed to explore because it’s against the law to study a fucking plant. Why is the federal government keeping such a tight rein on cannabis? Why are they allowing people who need it suffer so needlessly? Why are they allowing children to die? Why do they keep criminalizing the use, sale, cultivation and transportation of a plant that has been a part of human culture since humans had culture?

Greed and control are what fuels the romance between the government, corporate interest, and big pharma and “Medical Marijuana” laws are just a means to their ends and don’t benefit us in the long run.

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) would open the door to ending the prohibition and turning weed into the industry it should be. It isn’t without its problems but it’s a step in the right direction. I see the potential in Colorado and want to see it repeated in every state in the union and every country in the world.

We can’t keep allowing the current laws to block us any more.

PHOTO: Mark EggroleCreative Commons