Legalizing Marijuana To Fight The Opioids Crisis
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Legalizing Marijuana To Fight The Opioids Crisis

In the long run, more access to cannabis based medication will mean less access to opium based products.

37
Legalizing Marijuana To Fight The Opioids Crisis
Pixabay

The Northeastern United States is in the midst of a major Opioids Crisis. More and more people are becoming addicted to hard and illegal substances like heroin or abusing prescription pain pills such as oxycodone, Vicodin, codeine, morphine or fentanyl. As this epidemic only worsens, no one seems to have any clue as to how to fix this. That's not surprising. Donald Trump isn't the type of captain to steer a ship out of a storm and Republican leadership has long confused the concept of healthcare with pyramid schemes. But a tool that can help alleviate some of the opioid rises has been sitting right in front of our faces, admittedly one that might make Jeff Sessions curl into a ball and hum "Dixie" for a few hours.

Yes, folks, I'm talking about legalized marijuana. You see, before the Civil War, the cannabis plant was a common ingredient in medicine because it is a non-addictive pain reliever. Keyword there being "non-addictive". After the Mexican-American War white Americans moving west into former Mexican lands were alarmed by… well, the Mexicans. In an effort to muster anti-Mexican sentiment, nationalists stirred horror stories about an alarming Mexican drug called marijuana. Americans, being the all so rational people we are, quickly bought into that fear, never connecting the Mexican marijuana with the common medical ingredient cannabis.

Fast forward to the 20th Century when newspaper magnate and politician William Randolph Hearst feared the rise of the hemp industry interfering with his business interests. He had and a pamphlet written and distrusted to both members of Congress and the public. It claimed that marijuana made white women want to sleep with black men and the country went nuts. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact an overwhelming majority of prisoners incarcerated on marijuana charges are minorities. Anyway, what followed was a period of hysteria known as "Refer Madness", eventually leading to the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 which effectively banned the drug.

Today, we're a bit smarter. We know marijuana is less addictive than caffeine and how it's basically humanly impossible to consume enough weed to kill you so it's less dangerous than Advil or cigarettes, let alone opium-derived drugs. A few east coast states have already legalized both medical and recreational marijuana, with our own New York having yet to permit the latter just yet. THC in a concentrated pill form is available to doctors and hospitals for patients who wish to avoid opioids altogether. Making these pills more available to the public would give many a safer alternative to ease their pain and avoid the risk of becoming dependent on harsher pharmaceuticals. In the long run, more access to cannabis-based medication will mean less access to opium-based products.

Admittedly, this alone will not fix the Opioids Crisis but it will certainly make a difference by providing safer alternatives while also working to create a softer opinion towards drugs throughout the country. The United States, her government and her people, must stop viewing drug use as a criminal issue and start recognizing that it is, in fact, a medical issue. Nobody wants to be addicted. Addiction is a disease and, although it is classified as a schedule one drug, marijuana is a remedy to, not a cause of, that disease. Its reputation, as bad as it is, was born out of racism, ignorance and the conqueror's fear of his new unknown. Its banning was a political casualty in a real-life game of Monopoly in which the powerful players would stop at nothing to win.

I think we're smarter now. I think we know better and accept a more positive reinforcement style policy. We're there now, aren't we? We need to be because the Opioids Crisis isn't going anywhere unless we actually act. This time, the old ideas just won't cut it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Haunted Houses For Halloween In New Jersey

The Top Scariest Haunted Houses In New Jersey

3797

Residing in New Jersey enables you to participate in various activities, and everyone has a favorite. In New Jersey, Halloween is also celebrated in a spooky way. There are many scariest haunted houses in NJ to celebrate Halloween. If you want to confront your greatest fears, Halloween Scariest haunted houses are ideal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Leaving My Backpack In The Library

Views about society and the stranger sitting right across from me

47571
https://unsplash.com/photos/O0T1SIgHAfM

As a college student, my backpack is an extension of myself in many ways. It contains my notes, pens, and computer vital for my success in college. It contains the snacks and water bottle I need to survive long days on campus. It also contains the "in-case" items that help put my mind at rest if I forgot something from home: extra hair ties, masks, and that backup-backup snack. With so much in my backpack important to me and my life on campus, it is no wonder that I can get apprehensive about it when it is not with me or in my line of sight. And that makes me wonder.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Cool Gadgets To Make Your Car Smart

Don't let this stop you from making your car smart. You can change the one you have using smart gadgets that transform your car into a smart car.

106578

Cars are no longer just a mode of transport, where you only worry about the engine and how beautiful its interior is. These days, everyone wants to make their cars smarter, those with advanced technology systems. It makes sense for several reasons. It can make your vehicle more efficient and safer when you need to drive.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Inevitable Truth of Loss

You're going to be okay.

127696

As we humans face loss and grief on a daily basis, it's challenging to see the good in all the change. Here's a better perspective on how we can deal with this inevitable feeling and why it could help us grow.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' Film Review

Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson lead a tigher, more fun sequel to 2018's 'Venom'

104600
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FmWuCgJmxo

When Sony announced that Venom would be getting a stand-alone movie, outside of the Tom Holland MCU Spider-Man films, and intended to start its own separate shared universe of films, the reactions were generally not that kind. Even if Tom Hardy was going to take on the role, why would you take Venom, so intrinsically connected to Spider-Man's comic book roots, and remove all of that for cheap action spectacle?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments