Cannabis seems to make headlines more and more these days. A once forgotten plant is now being broadcast across the country. And no longer is it being associated with “pot-heads” and “stoners.” Nowadays, cannabis is being hailed by the medical community as a natural treatment we’ve ignored for too long.
When President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, he made hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) legal on a nationwide scale. Though there were many efforts leading up to this, that little signature paved the way for possibilities that were previously nothing more than dreams. Now congress is working up the legislation to make all cannabis products – including marijuana – federally legal.
Much of the youth is all for this and continue with advocacy to push this legislation – not just federally, but on a state scale as well. Though it can be assumed that many of them just want to get high without getting punished for it, the lawmakers would be foolish to pass regulations simply so everyone can get high.
In order for cannabis to make this much noise, there needs to be more to it.
For this article, we sat down with Marc Wasserman, a California lawyer who specializes in cannabis cases under the Pot Brothers, and we discussed why cannabis needs to be legalized and what people can do to get it there.
A Miracle From Mother Nature
“I’ve been using cannabis for over 25 years and I think that through my own experience and through the experience of many, many, many people I’ve come in contact with, it’s a great means of medication for such a variety of illnesses,” Wasserman states.
There’s a reason many medical professionals have been setting their sights on cannabis.
Cannabis has a way of naturally interacting with our bodies through our endocannabinoid system (ECS). Our ESC is made up of endocannabinoids (cannabinoids found within our bodies), receptors, and enzymes and is responsible for a number of functions, from mood regulations to our sleep.¹
When we consume phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids found within cannabis plants), it either directly or indirectly affects our ECS. Through this, a number of medical benefits arise, including:²
- Aids sleep
- Inhibits cancer cell growth
- Promotes bone growth
- Reduces blood sugar levels
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces risk of artery blockage
- Reduces seizures and convulsions
- Reduces small intestine contractions
- Reduces vomiting and nausea
- Relieves anxiety
- Relieves pain
- Slow bacterial growth
- Stimulates appetite
- Suppresses muscle spasms
- Treats fungal infection
- Treats psoriasis
Truly, with such a versatile of benefits, cannabis is often considered a miracle from mother nature. And it’s had its miracles on a number of individuals.
“Through our FM radio talk show, Cannabis Talk 101, we’ve had the chance to interview countless families that have treated their children for epilepsy and autism,” Wasserman asserts. “We have others who’ve treated their own cancer. We have testimonials of people who have used cannabis, whether it be CBD or THC, that have seen certain types of cancer go into remission.”
The Stories of Cannabis’ Miracle
With a quick Google search, you’re bound to run across thousands of articles where cannabis has not only given people the ability to treat a specific illness, but also gave them a more positive outlook on life as a whole.
Professionals within the industry, such as Wasserman, run into these stories on a daily basis. And the more professionals run into these stories, the more they question why it remains illegal on a federal level.
“We interviewed one guy I’ll never forget,” Wassmerman begins. “A vet, a triple amputee who had given up on his life. He was given a cocktail of all sorts of pain medication to the point where him and his wife would just lay together and do all those drugs. He felt he had no meaning to life and wanted to kill himself.
“He got turned onto cannabis simply by recalling that before he went into the army he used [cannabis]. We’ve heard this from a lot of vets, they may have used before they went in and when they go in, they can’t use anymore. And then something happens to them and they say, ‘You know what, last time I smoked a joint, it felt pretty good. I’m gonna talk to someone about cannabis.’
“And now this person I’m talking about [Jose Martinez – @1guru1 on Instagram], he’s out there on a surfboard every day, being active, and has a great life because of cannabis. Because he turned to cannabis to help him with his pain and recovery.”
Stories such as Jose’s are starting to shed light on previous stigmas attached to cannabis. So much so that even elderly are turning to it as a means of relieving pain that comes with aging illnesses.
“From arthritis – with regards to rubs and creams, like my folks use – to dealing with pain and helping with sleep,” Wasserman explains. “I mean, there are so many different ailments that the elderly go through that cannabis is the perfect remedy for.”
And with all the technology of the modern era, people are developing strains of cannabis that target specific necessities. For example, if someone is having trouble falling asleep at night, there are strains of cannabis available that directly help with that issue. Furthermore, there are strains and products developed that don’t get you high.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is just one example of these products.³ As a cannabinoid that’s linked to more than half the medical benefits above, people now have the ability to receive therapeutic medical benefits without the fear or risk of, as Wasserman puts it, “having their heads in the clouds.”
Legalizing the Miracle
Still, even with all the research available, politicians remain strict in their stance on cannabis. With a federal prohibition spanning nearly 100 years, there’s been a lot of difficulty getting the plant legalized.
However, Wasserman was there throughout California’s road to legalization and has a few pieces of advice to share with other states currently pushing for this legislation.
“Social media is probably the best platform to spread messages and being active in that regard,” he claims. “[It also helps] to get involved with different platforms. Two of the big platforms that come to mind are NORML and Americans for Safe Access.”
If you take a look at NORML and/or Americans for Safe Access, each website offers links for letters and phone calls that can be sent directly to your representatives. No matter your state, county, or town. You’ll also find ways to contact federal representatives.
This is how many people are reaching out and advocating for cannabis. The unfortunate truth is there remains a great number of people who don’t believe their vote matters. But Wasserman disagrees with this assertion.
“We’ve interviewed the congressmen, senators, and lots of political people,” Wasserman proclaims. “And those calls matter! When calls come flooding into offices like that, they hear them and they have to respond because they don’t want to get voted out. The people have a lot of power.”
Many states in the country are lucky in the sense that they have 11 other states to learn from when it comes to cannabis legalization (not to mention the entire country of Canada).
If you plan to approach your local politician, Wasserman makes note that it’s important to be more than educated. It’s important to use the right language when speaking about cannabis. Take the term “recreational cannabis” as an example.
“We prefer to say ‘adult use,’” Wasserman brings up. “Everybody’s using the wrong jargon of recreational and I simply say, ‘Where do I go get recreational alcohol?’ We don’t have that terminology and it’s more of the propaganda and negative stigma being pushed onto cannabis.”
The Future of Cannabis
For many people, it seems inevitable that cannabis will eventually be federally legalized considering so many states have already taken it upon themselves to do so. However, those states would’ve never budged on their stance towards cannabis if it weren’t for the people out there advocating.
Considering cannabis prohibition, research on its medical properties has been limited. Yet, even with these limitations, so much information has already surfaced about how cannabis can help a number of different illnesses. If cannabis research continues going in this direction, who knows what medical professionals may be able to discover?
The purpose of pushing for legalization goes beyond giving people the legal ability to get high. The purpose of legalization is to continue pushing research, to continue allowing cannabis to prosper as a versatile medication, and to give people the treatment they deserve.
² NCCIH: Marijuana and Cannabinoids
³ Harvard Medical School: Cannabidiol (CBD) – what we know and what we don’t know
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