Marijuana has been a hotly debated topic for many years in the U.S. at this point. With so much of the public showing that they would like to see the substance legalized, how far away are we from a future of legalized cannabis?
One of the largest issues has been not only the bureaucracy from the federal government but several specific officials in office. One of the most interesting aspects of last year came as U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams stated that the federal government should rethink their policy on cannabis’ scheduling. For those who don’t know, cannabis is currently a Schedule I narcotic, which puts it on the same level as drugs like heroin and methamphetamine. Of course, this doesn’t make too much sense, but given the history of cannabis in the U.S., bureaucratic propaganda has taken over.
The issue with cannabis’ scheduling is that it creates a double-edged sword. On one hand, the public would like to see the substance legalized, but the federal body says there needs to be more research done. However, the scheduling of cannabis makes it so that it can not be studied given the difficulty of scientists getting their hands on it.
Interestingly enough, the Food and Drug Administration has already approved a pharmaceutical drug produced from the cannabis plant known as Epidiolex. This drug uses cannabidiol or CBD as a treatment for several rare forms of epilepsy. The approval of Epidiolex signaled the first time that a federal body chose to allow a substance containing cannabis, and has created a domino effect for the future.
It seems as though it would be in the favor of the U.S. to legalize the use of cannabis due to its ability to treat so many different illnesses. Cannabis has been shown to be a very viable treatment for many of the withdrawal symptoms that opioid addicts face. Given the massive opioid crisis in the U.S., cannabis has the potential to be a life-saving substance to those who need it. Additionally, the safety of cannabis is extremely high as there have never been any overdose reports solely from using marijuana.
Researchers around the world have been working hard to get their hands on cannabis to study it for all of its medicinal properties. The U.S., however, seems to be lagging in its fight for finding new medicines using cannabis. Countries like Israel and Germany have been working to study the medical innovations that can be brought about by using marijuana but for some reason, the U.S. continues to fall behind.
With the legalization of marijuana occurring on a large scale domestically and in areas like Europe and Canada, it does appear that we are not far off from having legal weed be nationwide phenomena. The next few years will be extremely instrumental in solving the issues that come with legalizing cannabis on a wide scale throughout the U.S. Until that time, state laws will have to do.