Marijuana? Let’s do the research first – CALL!

November/December 2018

Get the good, helpful chemicals out of the plant with none of the bad chemicals that do harm. In other words, do the research!

There is a large battle looming in Kentucky that will be centered around the question of whether marijuana should be a legal substance. Right now, the federal government bans it as a controlled substance, but many individual states are moving on their own to legalize marijuana in some way.

Generally speaking, legalization falls into two basic categories: 1) medical marijuana; and 2) recreational marijuana.

Advocates of “medical marijuana” generally mean “legalizing the entire plant for medical uses.” That means the plant can be ingested in any number of forms; it can be smoked, vaped, or eaten or drunk within other foods (such as cookies/brownies or shakes).

Recreational legalization basically only deals with limiting its use when driving and for other external safety concerns.

States that pass “medical marijuana” laws consistently move to legalize recreational marijuana shortly thereafter. In that sense, marijuana is a double “gateway drug” – the first drug most often used by those who end up addicted to other drugs, and, as medical marijuana on the state level, it sets the stage for relaxed use as a recreational drug.

Currently, some medicines derived from the cannabis plant, or synthetically duplicating a cannabis compound, are already available. For example, Epidiolex, derived from the actual marijuana plant, was approved this year for two types of epileptic syndromes.

The question ultimately boils down to whether marijuana will go through proper research protocols, or whether there will simply be a “populist” demand to which legislators acquiesce. The problem with that approach (and all the other legislative legalization efforts across the nation) is that legislators are not equipped to do the research and they have not done the needed research. It is literally like an accountant wanting to “take a crack” at brain surgery – he may have good intentions but that’s not who one wants doing their surgery.

The Family Foundation’s position is very simple: There are LIKELY more substances in the cannabis plant that can be used for medicinal purposes (including some that have already been approved), but the research must be done like in the development of all other medicines. It is necessary to know and minimize any harmful effects and to establish proper dosages scientifically.

Call the toll-free Legislative Message Line, at 1-800-372-7181, and leave this two-part message for “all the legislators from my county.” (State Senators and Representatives) “Please act to have the FDA research and propose safe guidelines before any legalization.”

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