Why the Legalization of Marijuana Will Be Beneficial

Kamoi Staff Takes a Stand

Since 2000, marijuana use for medical reasons has been legal; however, the growing of marijuana is not. This cre­ates a problem for those who need marijuana because they don’t have a place to get it. That is why, after 15 years of trying, Governor David Ige passed bill HB321 in 2015 legalizing marijuana dispensaries in the State of Hawaii.

On Jan. 11, dispensary applications were made open to the public; these applications were required to be completed in order to receive a license (which will be given out to select appli­cants in July). The applica­tion fee was $5,000, and a $75,000 fee will be added if one is selected for a license.

With these dispensaries coming to the islands, there are also concerns that arise. One main concern is that some may take advantage of this situation; there will be more marijuana in the state in general, and with that comes more opportunities for the general public to gain access to it.

However, not just anyone has access to the marijuana. In fact, there are many re­quirements one must meet in order to receive marijuana from a dispensary (see Callan Medeiros’ article Marijuana Dispensaries for more infor­mation). For example, every­one who receives marijuana from these dispensaries must provide a doctor’s prescrip­tion. However, in order to get the doctor’s prescription, one must have a serious con­dition such as glaucoma or cancer. Furthermore, each dose of marijuana given out will be tracked electronically in order to regulate distribu­tion. These precautions that will be implemented at all dispensaries are safeguards to prevent fraudulent pur­chases or the re-sale of the drug.

The legalization of mari­juana dispensaries will finally allow those who need mari­juana for medical reasons to have access to it. Period! Maybe even without the stigma of buying this widely used recreational drug.

Several studies have shown that marijuana not only helps treat the nausea and vomiting side effects of chemotherapy, but also lessens the pain caused by neuropathic nerve damage. It has also been proven that marijuana helped increase appetite in HIV patients, and that those who were pre­scribed medical marijuana needed less pain medica­tion. In the past, those with conditions like cancer and glaucoma have used medi­cal marijuana to help relieve pain and relax their joints or muscles, but they either had to ship it in from another state or get a growing li­cense; however, the growing license didn’t help much for certain people because of area limitations.

The benefits of marijuana dispensaries clearly out­weigh the negative. Ask any­one afflicted by glaucoma or cancer. Those who need their personal fixes will con­tinue to find their personal suppliers, not the dispensa­ries. Medical dispensaries may bring a quality of life to those who are truly suffering. The ill may finally have a rea­son to celebrate!