Controversies are common in the field of Medicine. From controversial animal and human testing to untested ingredients and technologies, medicine is always buzzing with rumors and non-facts.
For something that has been around and used for ages, the experts can’t still agree when it comes to medical marijuana. Since medical cannabis use is not legal in many U.S. states, people have been using it under the radar. But that is about to change if the Medical Marijuana law will be passed in the country.
First off, its use is already legal in some states and other states are already discussing it in Congress. Many people rally for its approval because they believe medical marijuana can offer relief and cure to many of today’s diseases.
The Medical Cannabis Act has made its way past the first hurdle of many on the road to becoming law in Nebraska. It was approved for a hearing by the full legislature by the Judiciary Committee with a 6-1 vote, of which five of the six in favor were sponsors of the bill. Introduced earlier this year, activists and patients alike have high hopes for this bill – even though a very similar bill failed to make it through last year. If it were to make it to the Governor’s desk it stands a good chance at being vetoed, but with enough support from citizens, lawmakers may have a change of heart.
“I’m optimistic that members will listen to their constituents who are desperately asking them to legalize this form of treatment,” Senator Anna Wishart said.
Legislative Bill 622 would legalize medical marijuana use for patients with any of 20 different conditions including HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, anxiety and opioid addiction, among others. It would create a licensed and regulated medical marijuana industry, but it would not allow patients to grow their own cannabis at home. It would also allow for cannabis to be used in pill form, as a topical lotion or spray, or vaporized – but it would not permit patients to smoke medical marijuana.
And it is also making progress in other U.S. states like Hawaii where the experts deem medical marijuana helpful in five more chronic and debilitating conditions like epilepsy and lupus.
The Hawaii House Health Committee has passed a measure that wold expand the state’s medical cannabis program. They also unanimously passed a bill to change state law to refer to “medical marijuana” as “medical cannabis”.
Senate Bill 174, which has already passed the Senate with a unanimous 25 to 0 vote, passed the House Health Committee yesterday; the vote was 4 to 2. The proposal would add lupus, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and autism as conditions that qualify someone to become a legal medical cannabis patient.
Currently medical cannabis use in Hawaii is limited to those with cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS or a “chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces” cachexia, severe pain or nausea, seizures, sever muscle spasms or post traumatic stress disorder.
While the legalization of medical marijuana is making progress in some states, it has stagnated or died in the others.
The landmark legislation that would have made medical use of marijuana legal in Tennessee is officially dead for the year.
The House sponsor of the legislation said Tuesday the bill was being taken off notice for the current legislative session and a task force would be established by legislative leaders House Speaker Beth Harwell and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally to discuss the issue this summer.
But Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, said it’s not because of the lack of support in his chamber that the bill (HB0495) died.
“The Senate, bless their heart, are just scared to death of their voters,” Faison said Tuesday after the House Health Committee punted a non-binding marijuana-related resolution to summer study.
Faison said he believes the House would have voted for his measure, which would have established a medical marijuana program managed by three different state agencies and started in economically distressed parts of the state.
He said there still exists an irrational fear of marijuana and a stigma that it’s a terrible drug.
The country is still torn whether or not to give medical marijuana a go and it is left to each state to determine its merit. While many claims the use of medical marijuana can improve and help cure different health conditions, the majority are still afraid because of the earlier stigma associated with the use of the so-called “weed” and its close association to addicts.
Hopefully, the lawmakers can put all their personal feelings aside and assess the merits of medical marijuana use for what it really is. And if necessary, more test and studies should be done to fully determine its level of safety and efficacy for the health and well-being of the people.