Medical Marijuana Advocates See Momentum on Their Side
States like Maine are a good example. Still under the federal radar, they are able to evolve their medical marijuana programs to meet patient needs. Advocates gathered in Maine this weekend to celebrate medical marijuana and the momentum in the movement.
"It's such a big change in just the past few years even, seeing the wide mix of people openly talking about this and not being afraid of a plant, the communication; more and more people are growing and seeing the actual therapeutic benefits," said Hillary Lister, an advocate for medical marijuana use through Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, a trade association.
Jill Stein, who is a Green Party Independent presidential candidate, was one of the speakers at CannaFest, and she sees stereotypes of cannabis as a substance that could harm someone. Endorsing outright legalization, Stein said these stereotypes aren't based on facts.
"As a medical doctor and a public health advocate, marijuana, cannabis is a substance which is dangerous because it's illegal. It's not illegal because it's dangerous," Stein said.
Lister said she senses a growing awareness of the healing effects of cannabis for certain patients.
"I think more and more people are having bad experiences with all the overprescribed pharmaceuticals. There's a lot of people who were really opposed to cannabis even a year or so ago who are finding it really does help," she said.
In the end the federal government can only do so much to combat medical marijuana. Most people support it and realize that everyone should have the choice of cannabis as a medicine as opposed to some dangerous and addictive pharmaceutical.
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