If you’re like me and follow cannabis news on a daily basis, it’s easy to feel complacent and convince yourself that the fight for medical cannabis is over. After all, a constant barrage of overwhelming positive polls on the issue could make one think focus can finally be shifted toward recreational cannabis and changing federal law.
But, as I often discuss on Cannabis News, there is a small group still fighting tooth and nail against what many believe to be a done deal: The inevitability of medical cannabis laws. We have seen it in Utah over the last several months; a small, but very vocal and at times powerful, coalition of people who still think the notion of allowing sick people the option of cannabis is a dangerous one.
One of those people is United States Senator James Lankford (R-OK). “This state question is being sold to Oklahomans as a compassionate medical marijuana bill by outside groups that actually want access to recreational marijuana,” Lankford recently said in a press release regarding a vote in Oklahoma on medical cannabis later this month (State Question 788). “Most of us have seen first-hand the damage done to families and our communities from recreational marijuana use.”
Here Lankford displays a decent use of common scare tactics followed by a vague reassurance that most people agree with him, while giving zero evidence that either point is true.
“No one will convince me that our families will be better if only more parents and grandparents smoke more marijuana,” Lankford said. Of course, people having the right to do what they want and choose what medicine to take as long as they are not infringing on the rights of anyone else doesn’t depend on the feelings of Senator Lankford. I don’t care what he is convinced or not convinced of, and neither should voters in Oklahoma.
What right does this old man have to tell sick people in Oklahoma that they are not allowed to choose cannabis as a treatment option? Not only is his opinion on the matter wholly irrelevant, he doesn’t even have any lawmaking jurisdiction in Oklahoma; he represents the state in the U.S. (federal) Senate.
While the opposition to medical marijuana in the U.S. is small, it is also powerful and well-connected. The battle is not over and now is not the time to get complacent. It’s time to fight harder than ever.