Monday, April 17, 2017

Scott Walker is needlessly stubborn on medicinal marijuana in Wisconsin


Legalizing medical marijuana would help combat the opioid crisis in the Badger State


Gov. Scott Walker is planning to sign into law a bill that would allow families to possess cannabidiol (CBD) oil for use in the treatment of seizures.

Walker opposes marijuana legalization
Good on him. This bill is a commonsense approach to the issue, and allows individuals to treat their conditions without fear of committing a crime.

CBD oil doesn’t produce a high, but it has shown promising results for many who are afflicted with epilepsy. Walker should be given credit for signing the bill into law that allows patients to seek this treatment if it is an option their doctors have laid out for them.

This should be just the first step, however, and we should allow further use of marijuana to treat medical maladies in Wisconsin. Medicinal marijuana is helpful in treating all sorts of ailments, and it’s crucial that those suffering from debilitating diseases and other conditions be given the opportunity to utilize its benefits.

Earlier this year, Democratic state lawmakers suggested that Wisconsin should become the 29th state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, pointing out that it’s a safer alternative than other medications that are oftentimes abused.

Walker isn’t supportive of the idea, and has expressed his opposition to it on numerous occasions. Yet this goes against a trend that most of the states have already recognized: marijuana helps millions of patients, and in some cases it can help save lives.

There is definitive truth in that statement: a study from the RAND Corporation discovered states that loosened regulations on marijuana usage (or that legalized pot outright, in some cases) “had experienced reductions in fatal overdoses and addiction treatment center admissions relating to opioid abuse,” according to NBC News.
[I]n 18 states where medical marijuana shops are allowed, they found a 16% reduction in “opioid-related mortality” and 28% reduction in opioid-abuse treatment admissions.
Opioid addiction is an issue that Scott Walker himself is trying to combat. He even called a special session of the legislature to order to address the problem, calling it “a public health crisis” back in January.

Why then, when it’s clear that a solution exists in the form of medicinal (or recreational) marijuana decriminalization, does the governor so readily reject it? Walker has made the right decision in allowing patients access to CBD oil to help those afflicted with epilepsy and other seizure-inducing ailments. We should thank him for doing so.

But more has to be done to address other medical problems in the state. The key to some of those problems may lie in marijuana decriminalization. Democrats have recognized the potential for helping thousands of Wisconsinites by making medical marijuana a reality. The governor, thus far, has failed to even consider that move...and has failed countless patients across the state.

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