Will New US Medical Marijuana Laws Change How We Think of Pot?


On March 30, 2014, the Denver Post published an article entitled Non Psychoactive CBD oil made from marijuana plants poised to be game-changer. In this article, John Ingold, who has been writing about marijuana for close to a decade, delved into the discussion of whether medical marijuana legislation sweeping across the United States is good enough for present needs.

He provided an interesting view on the subject, giving a picture of both sides of the wider marijuana debate with reservations on the CBD-law movement. Seemingly, while there is no question that much has to happen in research and legislation on marijuana, the ultimate goal remains in contention.

New Medical Marijuana Laws

On one hand, conservatives believe that CBD bills enacted in states like Utah, Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin and others are more than enough to serve current medicinal marijuana needs. In fact, some of them view the laws as calculated moves by marijuana advocates to get the plant legalized wholesale in the country. To them, the medical need is a pawn in the wider scheme of “medical marijuana, then dispensaries, then full legalization.“

Nevertheless, it is becoming increasingly difficult for even these conservatives to ignore the evidence research is placing before them. In addition, the fact that low-THC marijuana is changing the lives of kids who otherwise would be resigned to a life of despair and pain has helped not only to bring the long-time medical marijuana laws debate to the mainstream but also to actively engage everyone.

Should THC and CBD Be Treated Differently?

The scientific breakdown of marijuana into THC and CBD has given conservatives an opportunity to take away the medicinal values the advocate groups have always used to rally support for full marijuana decriminalization. Consequently, some states have passed laws that permit the use of CBD extractions but have gone ahead to retain criminal prohibition of the entire plant.

This is why many marijuana advocate groups like the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws are not comfortable with the new CBD-law movement. They fear that conservatives are using it to stop their clamor for comprehensive legalization.

Some even believe the laws are constraining. Josh Stanley, one of the Stanley brothers running a marijuana business in Colorado, cites the Utah law, which allows parents to possess CBD oil with a prescription from a neurologist but says nothing on growing and production in the state. This still makes it necessary for patients to go to Colorado in order to get CBD.

Nevertheless, Stanley believes it is a positive gesture that the CBD movement has brought the marijuana debate into the mainstream where the conservative and advocate groups can engage. According to him, the debate should now go beyond just CBD laws to full-fledged medical marijuana laws.

Of the same view is Amanda Reiman, the policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, who believes, “The adoption of CBD-only legislation might be a way to start the conversation in some states, but it should not be the end.”

In the end, it becomes clear that whether or not medical marijuana laws are happening around the country is enough depends on where you stand in the wider marijuana debate.

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