The idea of medical marijuana that was initially brought to light as an original trial on social policy has now been voted into law in 23 states in the United States. The most recent cases have been Washington DC and Oregon. Recent studies have revealed that a significant number of Americans support the legalization of medical marijuana. Most of the proponents in this debate have cited the medicinal benefits of the drug as the primary reason as to why they support (Bradford & Bradford, 2016).
The opposition, however, has felt that the drug harms the societal norms and is dangerous for individuals.
Quite notable, however, is the fact that there has been a significant shift in opinion. Americans who formerly opposed the idea have grown to accept it. This paper will, therefore, discuss the initiatives to address the issue of legalization of medical marijuana. To begin with, a lot of research has gone into the opinions regarding the legalization of medical marijuana, the proposed benefits and the likely side effects of the drug (Gulland, 2016). The studies are initiatives taken to find out more on the controversial topic.
Other initiatives taken in this matter include passing laws to legalize recreational use of marijuana by adults in states such as California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maine. The passing of this legislation and the reforms of the marijuana laws in another state such as Oklahoma are initiatives taken by the relevant stakeholders to sell the idea. The department of health similarly initiated programs such as the “Initiative 71 Marijuana Working Group”. Findings from such programs are used to write reports to decriminalize marijuana use (Thompson, 2015). Finally, advocacy and lobby groups such as The Marijuana Policy Project based in Washington DC have channeled millions of dollars into campaigns to legalize the drug.
In a nutshell, there have been some initiatives that have gone into changing perception regarding medical marijuana. The efforts range from research to programs and funded campaigns. These efforts have gone into legalizing the use of medical marijuana.
Bradford, A. & Bradford, W. (2016). Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Prescription Medication Use In Medicare Part D. Health Affairs, 35(7), 1230-1236. http://dx.doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1661
Gulland, A. (2016). Sixty seconds on . . . medical marijuana. BMJ, i3962. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i3962
Thompson, A. (2015). Medical Marijuana. JAMA, 313(24), 2508. http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2015.6676