U.S. organizations and people work together to advocate for cannabis

Published Sep 30, 2020 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / OlegMalyshev

Let's take a look at why some U.S. organizations are working with people to help pave the road to federal marijuana legalization. “Legalize it" has been heard by many, and one instrumental voice for the statement comes from reggae icon Peter Tosh. Tosh used the phrase "legalize it" in his world-renowned music, which kicked off the mainstream legalization for the cannabis movement in 1976. His death in 1987 has not stopped people from working together to bring his statement to light.

How can cannabis be legal and illegal at the very same time? Well, state laws are conflicting with federal regulations, and that’s a problem.

Is help on the way?

Some of the help is coming from The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Ansell Grimm & Aaron, a prestigious law firm in the U.S., and Americans for Safe Access. These groups are not alone in the fight for federal marijuana legalization, but they, along with many citizens of the U.S., have joined the fight by filing numerous briefs to challenge the Schedule 1 status that currently shrouds cannabis. The hope of all cannabis advocates is for the Supreme Court to hear the case, as it would theoretically change the U.S. drug policy as it is today.

Who will be helped?

The cannabis patient who uses cannabis as their medicine faces the risk of federal prosecution each time they use medical cannabis in accordance with local and state laws. The patients are following the advice of their practitioner to benefit their health, and yet they are still punished. The untenable choice that the average cannabis patient must choose is an unacceptable trade-off that anyone requiring medical cannabis should not have to face.

Who has a vested interest?

The law firm is representing five organizations with a vested interest in the on-going case. Some of those include:

  • Athletes for CARE - Athletes for CARE is a non-profit organization made up of former pro-athletes who have become cannabis advocates.

  • NFL Sisters in Service, Inc - In-Service, NFL Sisters, is also a non-profit organization whose members include the daughters, spouses, and mothers of the current NFL players who continue to advocate for those football players.

  • After the Impact Fund - After the Impact Fund helps ex-athletes and military vets receive treatment for the sometimes-debilitating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other medical conditions.

Final words

Judge Mellaci, a retired Superior Court Judge, perhaps says it best. He believes that the Federal Government's placement of cannabis into Schedule 1 forces cannabis patients, including his son, who lives and suffers daily with ALS, to endure a lifetime of suffering. In his own words, the Judge states loud and clear that it is time to end the suffering, as the decision to use medical cannabis is no less important than having to decide to use everyday prescription drugs.

Let's hope that the Federal Government is listening to the people of the country they serve and do justice, do what is right, "Legalize it." in the words of Peter Tosh.

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