The US government says marijuana has no medical value. Because of this, it is extremely difficult to conduct serious research that either proves or disproves it. As more patients turn to cannabis to treat symptoms such as chronic pain, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, AIDS, epilepsy, glaucoma and arthritis, the government has done little to nothing to encourage research.
It is highly likely that legalization efforts will outpace research. Although most of the country has legalized, there is still so much that we don’t know about marijuana. In addition to not understanding if and how cannabis works to treat debilitating conditions, we also have little insight into these important questions:
1. Should we worry about big Cannabis?
Like ‘big tobacco,’ big cannabis represents the height of corporate greed combined with the lowest amounts of corporate responsibility. Will the market regulate itself? Does the government need to control it?
There needs to be more research into how to protect the public from overwhelming abuse.
2. Is driving high as bad as driving drunk?
Although many law enforcement agencies are using tests that detect THC, there has been no clear evidence that it negatively impacts driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it impairs driving, while a report published by the The New York Times says we cannot figure out a set amount of THC that qualifies as impaired.
Despite this, many states still have clear laws around ‘drugged driving,’ even if we still don’t exactly know what that means.
3. Can legalized marijuana stop illegal marijuana?
In many states, decriminalization, followed by legalization was a method of slowing down the effects of an illegal marijuana economy. Many are hopeful that the large number of medical marijuana states will cause the illegal trade of marijuana to come to a screeching halt. So far, this is far from true.
Even in legalized states, some patients still depend on illegal sources for their high-THC strands. Whereas in some recreational states, CBD-heavy strains are limited to market demand.
There is a lot of potential in marijuana. However, until we take the time to answer the important questions, (and ask new ones), we won’t realize the value of what we have. Hopefully, the number of places with legalized marijuana will encourage more organizations (and countries) to focus on research.
Marijuana legislation can be complicated, but Jenny Bloom is always up for the task. Although not a lawyer, her experience as a reporter and PR specialist helps her understand legalese – especially when it relates to growing marijuana. A passionate supporter of legalization and home... [read more]