Pass the Weed (Bill). On National Weed Day, the possible beneficial uses for marijuana should not be ignored.
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It seems recently everyone is focused on national politics, but there are major legislative acts happening here in Indiana, like Senate Bill 15 and House Bill 1148. Both bills relate to the slowly growing acceptance of medical marijuana in Indiana.
Senate Bill 15 and House Bill 1148 are the first bills approving medical use of marijuana, for children with epilepsy specifically, in Indiana. If the measure passes, this means patients could use cannabidiol (CBD), a derivative of the marijuana plant which has calmer effects, to lessen the frequency of seizures.
CBD has fewer of the psychoactive effects than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another marijuana derivative. This allows for patients suffering from 100-plus seizures a day to have the ability to lower the frequency of seizures to just a few a day.
This is the farthest a medical marijuana bill has ever advanced in Indiana. Numerous bills have been proposed; however, due to the more conservative nature of Indiana, medical marijuana bills often see a lack of support and ultimately fail.
With the success of both bills thus far, Indiana cannot only make strides in the advancement of treatment of epilepsy but also various other diseases and disorders. Twenty-eight other states have already approved the use of medical marijuana for people who suffer from cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
By pushing these bills through legislation in Indiana, this creates a path for other bills which would approve more uses of medical marijuana. Now is not the time to be looking into recreational usage, but as more medical uses are found and passed in Indiana, there will be a more open-minded approach toward marijuana as a whole.
As students who are beginning to enter the voting populace as 18-year-olds, it is our job to educate ourselves on this topic and help push for these bills to continue through legislation and into action. Then, take time to contact local representatives and show support, join in protests or tell more people about medical marijuana’s benefits for numerous diseases and create a conversation. As young voters, we have a voice and we cannot let it be stopped by representatives who don’t reflect our views. It’s time to make our voice heard and help push for a controversial topic that is beginning to change millions of lives nationwide.
The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Kelsey Atcheson at [email protected]