Science Is Indisputable: Marijuana Is Medicinal

House Bill 843, like similar bills being considered in other states, represents a new twist in our national history of redefining marijuana to achieve political goals. It moved quickly through its first committee, with near unanimous support.

The bill would legalize strains of cannabis with extremely low levels of THC and high levels of a sister compound called cannabidiol, or CBD. Cannabidiol is a molecule that is close to THC in molecular structure but without the psychoactive effects for which marijuana is best known. Studies have shown that when both are present, as in most recreational marijuana, CBD even works to counteract or balance the THC-induced high.

It’s not entirely clear why. Science has dedicated far more attention to understanding THC and its infamous psychoactivity. For decades, government funds — and the only legal supplies of cannabis for researchers — have been reserved for scientists who test presumptions that marijuana is dangerous. Studying cannabidiol doesn’t fit that paradigm.

Regardless, supporting the legalization of non-euphoric medical marijuana allows lawmakers to care for suffering kids without having to acknowledge that the more traditional strains, rich in euphoria-inducing THC, are also a source of legitimate medicine with greater scientific backing.

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