Many proponents remain unsatisfied. Many opponents continue to fight to preserve the laws in the remaining states, or even reverse the laws that have allowed marijuana to become legal (or nearly legal). At present under federal law, marijuana possession, usage, and sale is still illegal. However, the federal government has allowed provisions for the states to pass or enact their own laws for both medical and recreational use.
So, where do you stand? Are you in favor of the legalization and/or decriminalization? Do you think it is acceptable only in the cases of medical need? Or are you opposed to marijuana being readily available in all instances and situations? We spoke to a variety of people, with a variety of opinions, stories, and positions on the subject. Feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions. Remember you can alway comment anonymously. Check back every day for more and be sure to join this important conversation!
"I'm 100% for medicinal throughout the country. Recreational, I think the states can decide themselves. That's not where my heart is on this issue."
DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL REASON TO WANT IT APPROVED MEDICINALLY?
"I have MS and it benefits what I'm going through like the muscle spasticity and the pain. It's something that works instantly and not another pill that has to go through my liver and all that nonsense. Besides, I'm too old to be out on the street looking for weed (laughter). I'd rather know that I can get one they supply and be responsible with it and take it as needed or whatever the doctor recommends. It's just something that's beneficial to people with cancer and MS, and I'm not sure what other diseases. My doctor said that he didn't see it to be likely that it'll be legal here soon, but he said that I'd be top of the list to get it; people with MS and people with cancer. I don't wanna feel like a criminal if I use it for my condition. Something that's really confusing too, is if you live in a different state and you take your "medicine" across to a state that it's not legal, that's kind of a screwy area to get into too. It's a really complicated issue there."
WHY DO YOU FEEL THAT MARIJUANA IS A BETTER TREATMENT THAN THE MEDICATIONS THEY HAVE YOU ON CURRENTLY?
"I think it works faster. It relaxes the muscles. Maybe they don't want to give it to us cause they think we're gonna sit around in our underwear, play video games and eat Cheetos. But that's not the case. I think there's a lot of misconceptions about what it does and I think that's the image that people tend to think with it. It wouldn't be (medically) legal in the states it is if they didn't find positive results from it for medical reasons."
DO YOU FEEL THERE ARE OTHER DIFFERENCES BETWEEN POT AND THE LEGAL MEDICATIONS YOU'RE CURRENTLY ON?
"I feel it's more of a supplement than a replacement of another medication. Like the muscle relaxer that I'm on is more of a consistent thing, but it doesn't prevent a chronic illness from getting worse. Sometimes that drug becomes not quite as effective as it used to be but it's all I have. But to have something to supplement that, would be terrific."
SO POT WOULDN'T REPLACE ANY MEDICATIONS YOU'RE ON?
"No. It wouldn't replace any. And yes, I've tried it (pot), and it's hard to compare it to other times that I've had it. My symptoms change and what pot is available is not always the same, the same quality. So at least if it was regulated, I'd get a better, consistent quality of it."
DO YOU TAKE PAIN KILLERS NOW?
"No. My doctor never prescribed them. They keep giving me something call Baclofen (for muscle spasms in MS patients) in a pretty high dose. I take that with these other neuropathic type drugs to try and control the pain. I'd still have to take that too, otherwise I'm so locked up and I can't move."
WHY DOESN'T YOUR DOCTOR PRESCRIBE PAIN MEDS?
"He's very conservative and I think he's afraid of abuse."
SO YOU FEEL POT IS A MORE EFFECTIVE PAIN RELIEVER?
"Yes, and the fact that it relaxes the muscles where, when you take a pill, it takes a while to go through your system to get going. It doesn't last, and is more instant."
I SEE WHAT YOU'RE SAYING ABOUT IT BEING SUPPLEMENTAL. OTHERWISE, YOU'D HAVE TO SMOKE IT ALL DAY? YOU JUST WANT TO HAVE IT ON THOSE PARTICULARLY BAD PAIN DAYS?
"Right and I don't wanna be in my underwear eating Cheetos. The drugs I take are kind of maxed out and not giving me the relief that I need."
WATCHING COMMERCIALS FOR MEDICATIONS, IT'S ASTOUNDING TO SEE THAT THE LIST OF POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS ARE LONGER THAN THE BENEFITS.
"Yeah, I don't need anal leakage and I don't get that from pot (laughter). So it's all good. You take it for one thing and it gives you four others. It's not worth it and I feel that it (pot) would be an easy way to give me some relief without any extra complications. I'm on enough pills that I don't want any more pills. Unless you have a miracle pill, but you don't, so in the meantime, a bowl a day keeps the pain away."