Legalization Must Focus Not Only on Recreational Use

BY: Chronic Staff | Recent News | September 13, 2021

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and a group of Senate Democrats recently proposed legislation to legalize cannabis at the federal level.

The bill has comprehensive cannabis reforms as presented. It aims to legalize cannabis in the United States for recreational use. It also includes many provisions for expanding the cannabis industry. In addition, it adds taxes that provide revenue to the federal government and demands that some of the money collected to be used to improve the lives of communities that have been hurt by the war on drugs. It aims to fix injustices done to communities of color.

However, it excludes the most important demographic who are the patients that might be affected by this new law.

115 million Americans over the age of 50 will develop illnesses that can be treated by cannabinoid medicines. Not including them in the discussion draft shows that lawmakers are not giving emphasis to the needs of the patients that need clinical care that highly differ from recreational users.

As inviting as it is an economic opportunity and a method to correct social injustice, it is easy to disregard that cannabis is also medicine, and the support of patients is also a social justice issue.

The Health and safety of patients that depend on cannabis to treat multiple physical and mental diseases cannot be overlooked. Patients should have easy access to treatments. The Association of Cannabinoid Specialists, a professional organization dedicated to science-driven education for clinicians and lawmakers on the use of cannabinoid medicines, created the four key components that they shared with Schumer and colleagues. The guidelines they proposed for federal regulations make sure that cannabis patients are remembered and given focus, not only the recreational use.