With so much to give thanks for this time of year, it might be easy to forget about one of the greatest gifts of the past year; the continued progression of the legalization of cannabis.
Now not only Colorado & Washington state have fully legalized marijuana but also Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C. have joined on as well.
Added to this are twenty eight states which now have some form of limited medical cannabis law (including Florida as of January 15, 2015 despite the states failure to not pass a constitutional amendment) as well as Pennsylvania, Maryland and parts of Maine have also decriminalized marijuana use.
There is also the matter of the 2016 state elections of California, New Mexico, Arizona and many others which will have referendums for complete legalization of cannabis.
With the new Republican controlled congress taking over in January, the potential for a national medical cannabis bill to emerge and be passed adds to the reality of a nation of legalized marijuana without the fear of consequence.
Cannabis use without the fear of penalty and reprisal could allow those with illnesses of cancer, glaucoma, aids and various neurological disorders an opportunity for a near normal life.
For all of this we give thanks for the progression of legal cannabis.
But even more than all of the legal advancement, it is giving thanks for the Cannabis plant itself.
There is no more perfect plant than Cannabis.
It provides fuel, food, medicine, fiber for the textile and construction industry as well as paper and plastic.
Marijuana is simply one of God’s most perfect creations literally giving life, health and hope to millions.
Marijuana is not simply a means to get high, stoned and out of touch; to the contrary.
Marijuana is a means to becoming more aware, more sensitive and in many cases more understanding of the world around us.
Cannabis allows epileptic children so engulfed on a daily basis by seizures that they are unable to stay alert and conscious in the class room to suddenly be able to function on a normal basis.
We thank God for the healing provided by this miracle plant, not just for epileptic children but the rest of us who are epileptics, Parkinson’s and MS patients.
The emails and comments received by fellow epileptics to this writer since my coming out in open support of legalized cannabis are amazing; the stories these patients share are phenomenal.
For many of these individuals, life would not be possible without medical marijuana to help them through each day. It is not that these people are addicted but rather that their neurological disorder is simply to the extreme without the cannabis help added to their other medications.
We thank God for this herbal gift and its benefit of healing to cancer not just for pain but in many cases actually curing various forms of cancer.
We are also thankful for the benefits of cannabis in reducing glaucoma pressure in the eye delaying or even preventing blindness.
Of course the benefits of cannabis for relieving pain, depression and anxiety without the harmful side effects of traditional anti-anxiety and anti-depression medication is very well known.
The bottom line is the Cannabis plant is one of God’s greatest creations to be both cherished and for which we are to be very thankful.
We must continue to demonstrate our thanks for this cherished gift by pressing forward for complete legalization with equal access for all.
We thank God for Cannabis and the continued advancement of legalization.
© 2014 Dr. Lee W. Outlaw III