Medical Marijuana Must Become More Accessible in Ohio

Matt Teaford – Cincinnati City Council Candidate

It’s 2017. The first full head transplant is going to be attempted later this year, we have medicines that can help to prevent the spread of HIV, and we no longer have to worry about some of the deadliest diseases in human history thanks to the sustained efforts of enlightened minds in the scientific and academic communities. Yet we’re still arguing over… a plant.

Not just any plant, though. This plant is one that has now been proven, by a number of university studies from around the planet, to alleviate pain, but without the addicting side-effects of many prescription painkillers. While it has a long and well-documented history of being on the wrong side of the law, most of that is tied into both racism and, well… ignorance.

While I could go into the long and ridiculous history of the plant and the laws against it, I won’t. I don’t want to focus on the past anymore, but the present and future of understanding for it. What we now know is that the legislation that made marijuana a Schedule I drug was built on a foundation of racism and sent more people to prison for non-violent crimes than ever before. We’re still seeing this today.

While the subject of full-blown legalization is another topic in itself, and I am an advocate, I want this to be about the fact that there are so, so many uses for this plant when it comes to treatment. It’s been used for glaucoma, epileptic seizures, chronic nerve pain… the list goes on and on. There have actually been cases of citizens leaving their homes, the places they love, to find alternative treatment via cannabis in more medically-advanced states. It’s happened right here in Ohio, and that’s embarrassing.

Not only that, but it’s also been used by veterans to alleviate the effects of PTSD following their service to our country. There are so many people who could benefit from easier access, but instead some who served our country could be thrown into prison simply for seeking treatment. To have autonomy over one’s body is the purest of liberties… where are our priorities?

As if we need even more proof, cannabis has been proven to beĀ non-addictive, meaning that unlike many wonderful surprises from major pharmaceutical companies, you don’t run the risk of dependence by using marijuana for battling your ailments. Considering accidental overdoses are killing an unprecedented amount of Americans every year, maybe it’s time we invest in something that no one overdoses on, but still cures the ailments nonetheless?

I hope to serve as an elected official in Cincinnati next year after I win a seat this year. Although Ohio recently passed the resolution to allow access to medical marijuana, the red tape is popping up everywhere before the first store opens next year in 2018. Knowing we come from a state with serious opioid addiction and heroin overdoses, we can’t afford politicians milling around while others continue to die. I will be adamant in my push for easier access for medical marijuana to the people of our city because they deserve better options. The quality of life for many in our city could drastically improve, and I want to help that happen.

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