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Accepting the obvious, medical cannabis

Marijuana has a stigma earned many times over. Counter- culture anarchists tuned out with it, and lovers of American culture took note.

But here’s the obvious elephant standing in the room: Marijuana has medicinal virtues separate from its use as a recreational drug. If America routinely uses dangerous and addicting opiates for pain relief, why on earth would we not embrace using something equally as effective, maybe more so, and yet so much safer?

Medical cannabis, or medical marijuana as it is being called, can be tailor-made to treat pain, but not stoner needs. That’s neat. And it is time to embrace this technical advance, or traditional step back, as it were. Thank you, Governor Corbett, for recognizing this need. Many medical patients await effective pain mitigation, and this is it, apparently.

Side note: Like all public policy subjects, this one is also filled with ancillary issues. For example, medical-only hemp (sorry, no buzz for the tokers, no matter how much you huff n’ puff) can be easily grown nearly anywhere in America, thereby displacing medical/ drug poppy cultivation in lovely places like, say, Afghanistan. ¬†Displacing poppy growth is ¬†a good thing. Not supporting Afghanistan is a good thing. Supporting American agriculture is a good thing.

Yes, drugs are bad. Yes, recreational marijuana is a drug. No, promoting medical cannabis is not the same thing. It is a fact whose time has come. Let’s help people.

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