Marijuana Legalization Should Be Left to the States

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Sponsor: The Breast Cancer Site

Medical marijuana is helping countless people, but President Trump has changed his mind about his laissez-faire policy on it.


Cannabis, also known as marijuana, has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. It contains various active compounds known as cannabinoids that have been shown to relieve pain, lower inflammation, decrease anxiety, and more [1]. It's been studied for patients with nausea, vomiting, other cancer therapy side effects, and cancer symptoms. There is also evidence to suggest cannabis may kill or slow the growth of certain cancer cells [2].

The possession of cannabis is currently illegal by federal law except for approved research purposes, but many states have legalized its use for medicinal purposes and even—in a few locations—recreational purposes [3].

During his campaign, President Trump called for a laissez-faire approach to the marijuana issue, claiming that the states would oversee its legalization and regulation if he were elected president [3].

Now the Trump administration seems to have changed its plan. White House spokesman Sean Spicer has said that he expects the government to boost the enforcement of drug laws in the near future, and attorney General Jeff Sessions later backed that statement, saying "Marijuana is against federal law, and that applies in states where they may have repealed their own anti-marijuana laws. So yes, we will enforce the law in an appropriate way nationwide" [4].

But despite the concern about the potential misuse of marijuana, studies in the states that have legalized it show that it is safer than prescription drugs for pain management and results in far fewer overdoses [5].

A national poll also found that 54 percent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana across the country, and a whopping 89 percent said marijuana should at least be legal for medicinal purposes [6]. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and other supporters of marijuana legalization say backing out of this "experiment" now will cause nothing but conflict [7].

Sign the petition to tell President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the potential benefits presented by marijuana far outweigh the risks and that the ability to legalize marijuana should belong to the states so that more people can have access to this effective tool for pain management and disease treatment.

[1] Cannabis and Cannabinoids. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2017, from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/cannabis-pdq PTSD: National Center for PTSD. (2014, December 17). Retrieved April 12, 2017, from https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/co-occurring/marijuana_use_ptsd_veterans.asp

[2] Marijuana and Cancer. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2017, from https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/complementary-and-alternative-medicine/marijuana-and-cancer.html

[3] P., & Governor, G. N. (2017, February 24). Did Trump pledge to leave legal pot up to the states? Retrieved April 12, 2017, from http://www.politifact.com/california/statements/2017/feb/28/gavin-newsom/true-campaign-trump-said-states-should-decide-lega/

[4] Mui, Y. (2017, March 14). Trump and his attorney general are freaking out the $7 billion pot industry. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/14/donald-trump-and-jeff-sessions-anti-legal-pot-industry.html

[5] Williams, S. (1970, January 01). Jeff Sessions Just Spoke Candidly About Marijuana (And You Won't Like What He Said). Retrieved April 12, 2017, from https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/03/12/jeff-sessions-just-spoke-candidly-about-marijuana.aspx

[6] Gass, N., Pollack, H., Glasser, S. B., & Grunwald, M. (n.d.). National poll: Majority supports legalizing marijuana. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/do-people-support-legalizing-marijuana-223928

[7] Woody, C. (2017, February 26). 'Wrong time to pull back': Colorado governor chastises Trump administration for anti-legal-weed stance. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from http://www.businessinsider.com/john-hickenlooper-legal-weed-colorado-trump-2017-2

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The Petition:

Dear President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions,

Despite the countless studies showing the safety and effectiveness of marijuana as a medicinal product, you have called for enforcement of the federal law against it. Despite the overwhelming number of people who agree cannabis should be allowed for medical purposes at the very least, you have decided your opinions matter more.

Your opinion does not matter more than the American people's. You do not have the right to tell those with cancer, chronic pain, and other health conditions that your concerns about the risks matter more than their health.

We will not stand for an administration that claims to agree with the majority of the nation and then enforces a law only a small minority supports. We will fight for the right to choose to legalize marijuana at the state level.

Marijuana has been proven as an effective pain-management tool. We demand that the ability to legalize it be given to the states so that more Americans can have safe and legal access to this life-changing and potentially life-saving drug.

Sincerely,

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