Daily 49er

Weed can do it; A case for medical marijuana

The stigma surrounding marijuana puts those with medicinal needs in an awkward position.

Medically+prescribed+cannabis+has+been+a+topic+of+discussion+since+its+legalization+in+1996.
Medically prescribed cannabis has been a topic of discussion since its legalization in 1996.

Medically prescribed cannabis has been a topic of discussion since its legalization in 1996.

Medically prescribed cannabis has been a topic of discussion since its legalization in 1996.

Sabrina Flores, Assistant Photo Editor

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Medicinal marijuana saved my life. I know it sounds like a hyperbole, but for millions of people like me it has helped us live day to day. I believe it’s time, 22 years after the legalization of medical marijuana, for the Cal State University system to accommodate those who rely on it for their health and well-being.

Leaving for college exposed me to a plethora of experiences I never would have had living in the bum-fuck town of Fowler, California. With its steadily declining population of 6,000 and only a McDonald’s and Starbucks in town, the most impactful digression of my straight edge life was a newfound love for pot.

Before discovering the benefits of medicinal weed I would often have intense depressive episodes as well as uncontrollable panic attacks due to my high energy personality and overactive mind. I also struggled daily with my body image and an undiagnosed case of anorexia, but we seemed to be my cure-all.

When smoking with friends, my plethora of anxieties and daily struggles seem to dissipate into thin air.

I delved deeper into the subject, finding that California had legalized medicinal marijuana through prop 215, the “Compassionate Use Act”. Unfortunately, because the substance was only legalized at the state level, it remained federally illegal.

Research led me to discover that my treatment of cannabis as a therapeutic comfort was not unique. As of February 2018 California recorded  1,256,550 patients with a prescription for medicinal marijuana; this totals out to roughly 3.6 percent of the entire population in the state.

I applied for my medical marijuana card after deciding this was the best option for me, believing it would keep me safe wherever I went. Little did I know that it would be utterly useless on campus, the one place I frequented every single day.

The federal government continues to treat medicinal marijuana on colleges as a narcotic, held to the same standard as heroin, LSD and ecstasy. Meaning even students with a medicinal prescription would be subject to persecution.

I believe that with the new accumulation of factual evidence supporting medicinal marijuana federal government ran institutions, including Cal State Long Beach, should conduct further clinical studies. In doing so, they can determine the full potential of marijuana’s medical benefits and measure its impact on the student body.

And before you assume I’m just a pothead looking to infiltrate campus with my weed smoking ways, let’s remember that our campus actively serves alcohol, a non-medicinal beverage that impairs and harms individuals.

Scientists assert that marijuana consumption is less harmful than both alcohol and tobacco, but the federal government fails to recognize this fact. From my experience, I would much rather be around someone who is stoned than belligerently drunk.

Additionally, there have been multiple discoveries citing new innovative properties about the two main ingredients in cannabis, THC and cannabidiol especially. Cannabidiol is non-psychoactive and is commonly used to relieve anxiety, lower stress levels and alleviate pain.

Considering the size of the CSULB campus, I believe we have the means to conduct our own observations, while including student input on the issue. The administration should seek individuals in our community that rely on medicinal marijuana and explore their conditions, needs and what they would like to see from the administration.

Health and lifestyle resources on campus should also begin educating as well as acknowledging that people possess diverse needs and medical marijuana surpasses any stigma.

I believe there should be an exception such as a designated area or implemented student registration as with any other medication. Perhaps even a weekly check-in with an on-campus physician as well as documenting the presence of marijuana on campus could be enacted for students.

It is time for the CSU system to address the fact that for many students like myself, this is our salvation, our medication and our mood stabilizer. Medicinal marijuana, by drastically improving my quality of life, motivated me to continue living and for that I will forever be grateful.

 

By ignoring the needs of students and potential medical benefits of cannabis, the CSU system denies students an alternative method for dealing with disorders and fails the students whose wellbeing they have been entrusted with.

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