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OPINION - So long as they're not getting high

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU) Governor Walker is going to sign a medical marijuana bill... sort of. It would allow a marijuana extract to be used as an anti-seizure drug for children. CBD oil isn't smoked. It's given in pill form only. And the Governor is right to allow it.

This bill will confirm what I've long suspected: there's very little interest in medical marijuana if users can't smoke it. Marijuana may indeed have medicinal uses, but even people with legitimate treatment needs are still using it to get high. Experience bears this out. Los Angeles and San Francisco legalized marijuana dispensaries last year. In LA more than 2,000 of these storefront businesses sprang up in less than a month. In many locations, a fly-by-night doctor would open up a storefront next door, write prescriptions for "patients" with vague symptoms of back aches or stomach problems, and have them supplied next door. You could get high legally, so long as you lied about a medical condition. Colorado's recreational legalization, which I oppose, at least isn't a farce.

It's hard to imagine the FDA approving any drug that has the side-effects of marijuana. And other drugs that include THC, the active ingredient in pot, are already approved in pill form for specific uses.

Apparently CBD pills are effective treatment for kids with seizures. There's no reason those drugs shouldn't be made available, and it soon will be in Wisconsin. Other marijuana-extract drugs that can be taken orally should also be researched, tested, and approved if the science supports it. What I don't support is people faking a back injury in the name of getting high. That crowd has already had its day in the sun in Colorado, Washington and Oregon. If getting high is that important to you, move to one of those states.

Chris Conley

Image: Marijuana cigarette via WikiCommons.com