Movements advocating the legalization of marijuana within the United States recently received support and a major boost from two very unlikely groups- sick children and football players diagnosed with traumatic brain diseases.
Within less than two decades since the state of California became the first U.S. state to legalize the use of medical marijuana, twenty-five states have since followed suit and done the same within their boundaries. In fact, the District of Columbia as well as four other states have gone even further and legalized the use of recreational marijuana.
Support Groups and the CWCB
Just last week, the city of New York played host to one of the biggest exhibitions in support of the use of marijuana under the banner of the Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition (CWCB). The exhibition included the likes of Keith Stroup, the man who founded NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) more than 50 years ago. Stroup has traveled all over the states fighting for the legalization of weed. It is groups like these that have championed the reforms to marijuana laws in the country so far, although the choir of voices is getting louder.
Speaking during a recent interview with MarketWatch, former New York Giants defensive lineman Leonard Marshall was very vocal about his support for the public embracement of medical marijuana. Marshall was diagnosed with a degenerative brain ailment in 2013 and has been using non-psychoactive variants of medical marijuana to help him deal with the disease.
Other prominent football players who joined Marshall in voicing their support for the reform of marijuana laws included Eben Britton. From 2009 – 2014, Britton was an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars. Britton has been a vocal advocate of medical marijuana, admitting to it being his painkiller of choice during his playing days. He further argues that relative to prescription drugs, players should not be punished for using natural alternatives.
A second group made up of parents of children with serious life threatening illnesses across the country have also voiced their support and effectively turned the discussion from one about an illegal drug to a discussion about a potentially life-saving medicine. In 2013, CNN published a documentary titled “Weed” that provided major boost for the industry. The documentary was based on a trial conducted by the Stanley Brothers (a producer of cannabis extract and hemp) in which they developed a CBD product with low psychoactive properties and used it to successfully manage the symptoms in a 5-year-old epileptic girl.
Although support for the reformation of marijuana laws in the country has been slowly mounting over the years, the recent support from groups like the aforementioned is helping accelerate the reform process like never before.
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