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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Being Grateful for the Cornucopia of Cannabis - by Kathy Hess

Being Grateful for the
Cornucopia of Cannabis

There’s almost always something we can find to be thankful for this time of year.  We can be thankful for our freedom, may our liberty endure. We can be thankful for our families who still put up with us.  We can be thankful for our health, or what we still have of it.  We can be thankful for the roofs over our heads as the season of autumn in all its color, gives way to chilly barren winter. We can be thankful for the jobs we have, or the jobs we’ll soon have.  We do have a lot to be thankful for.  I’m especially grateful this year, for the cornucopia of cannabis.

Cannabis, wonderful cannabis, is more than meets the eye. Sure, you may savor the occasional dab here and there but do you really know of the considerable reach of sanctioned medical marijuana? Since the legalization of cannabis, broke and wealthy cities have benefited, pain and PTSD sufferers finally feel relief, and the face of criminality has changed. There is so much goodness that comes from legal cannabis and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’d like to review our favorite reasons.
Cannabis is much safer than other legalized drugs. If you’re okay with cigarettes and alcohol being legal, then you should be okay with the legalization of marijuana as well.  To date, there is not a single reported death with cannabis as the cause.  Alcohol on the other hand  accounts for more than 4% of deaths worldwide.  That’s more than AIDS or tuberculosis. When it comes to deaths related to cigarette smoke, the numbers are staggering.  Tobacco kills more the six million people, every year.

Opioids. Nearly 100 people die from opioid related deaths every day. Every. Day.  Prescription drugs that people have access to through a doctor.  In 2015, it was estimated that more than 2 million people had an opioid abuse problem related to prescription drugs, while 590,000 people had an opioid abuse problem related to herion. Most people who get addicted to opioids do so via a prescription from their physician.

With statistics like those, it’s difficult to understand why the legalization effort for marijuana has run into so many road blocks.  But the fight for states to keep marijuana rights they’ve already won keeps going strong.  And the continued battle in other states to gain legal marijuana rights is gaining momentum.  I’m grateful for medical marijuana.

Medicinal marijuana as relief for those in need.  While we are all looking to the hopeful future and to the complete recreational legalization here in Michigan, we can now at least be grateful for the medical cannabis we have access to.  Medical marijuana is a huge and necessary aid for those in pain, or those who suffer from PTSD.  It’s proven to greatly assist the recovery process in cancer patients, those who suffer from epilepsy, and even sufferers of digestive issues like Chron’s disease. But thanks to the overwhelming passing of medical marijuana, cannabis as a medical aid is easily accessible to all in need of pain relief – even for less severe ailments. 

Medicinal cannabis is also free from the gambit of side effects that inevitably accompany Big Pharma prescriptions.  Rather than inducing side effects, cannabis often helps to alleviate symptoms associated with prescriptions. I’m grateful for medical marijuana.

Green just makes for more green. Can we get a dab for the economic boost that medical cannabis has delivered to the state, especially in our beloved Flint? Hard numbers on just how much the medical marijuana industry has introduced to the state are difficult to measure.  Without taxation, data is more speculative then anything, but its estimated to be hundreds of millions. Where we used to pass strip malls and corner stores long ago abandoned with boarded up windows when the auto industry left town, we now pass by garden supply shops, head shops and dispensaries with their green signage and discreet culture driven names.  The money brought to the state by patient licenses alone is staggering, and we can only imagine what the documentable revenues will be when Michigan is allowed to tax cannabis.  What potholes?

The job creation that medicinal cannabis brings to Michigan alone is a warm welcome to a state that has long been on the list for high unemployment rates.  Dispensaries, garden supply and head shops that need retail workers, farmers who need plant tenders and harvesters, the medical marijuana industry brought thousands of jobs to Michigan.  I’m grateful for medical marijuana.

Decriminalization of marijuana keeps making headway.  As more and more states push for cannabis reform, federal legalization seems nearer than ever. By reprioritizing marijuana as a low level drug and/or decriminalizing marijuana altogether (in some communities), prisons are becoming less crowded, the court system is less bogged-down with ridiculous cannabis drug charges, and people’s lives are less likely to be ruined by unjust imprisonment.

We can also be thankful that the government and DEA can now focus on the truly dangerous and illegal war on drugs – Not marijuana. Granted we still have a long ways to go, and there is still a lot of unfair treatment of some cannabis users by those still ignorant to the truths of cannabis, but we’ve come a long way in the past ten years.  I’m grateful for medical marijuana.

Cannabis advocates and users now find themselves in good company.  More Americans than ever favor legalization over criminalization of marijuana, in fact 62% of Americans are in favor for recreational marijuana legalization. This means more than half of this great nation supports all the good that comes from marijuana. In a time where the citizen’s issues are polarized and the nation is divided, it’s important to come together when we can. More Americans than not, favor legalization and that’s a start towards coming together as a nation once again.  As Michigan moves to legalize recreationally, that good company is only going to grow and we might not have gotten here without medical cannabis paving the way.  I’m grateful for medicinal marijuana.

There is a plethora of reasons to be grateful this Thanksgiving season. Medicinal cannabis is near the top. Role it, pipe it, vape it, dab it or eat it. Express your gratitude humbly and respect others freedoms and opinions. While there are many issues and opposing viewpoints that separate us as a community, we remain grateful that marijuana is bringing the country together and finally getting the respect it deserves.

1 comment:

  1. Thankful For The Michigan Mess...It's Not Over Yet,