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“I would NEVER use marijuana!” This is something I’ve heard time and time again. My family, my friends’ families, and good, God-fearing Oklahomans all over the state feel this way.
And it makes sense. With stereotypes like Cheech and Chong and the reefer madness of years past, many Oklahomans are rightly skeptical about medical marijuana. It’s hard to accept medical use when all you see is people partying.
But with the recent passing of State Question 788, many Oklahomans who’ve never given cannabis a second thought are reconsidering their options. And it’s no wonder. I talk to my fellow Durant citizens every single day about their health issues. You wouldn’t believe how many medications they’re on. Or maybe you would.
In fact, just the other day I spoke with someone who had blood pressure problems. Well, she brought it up with her doctor and he prescribed some meds. But those meds had a nasty side effect: depression. So now, her blood pressure is fine, but she’s depressed.
Well, she brought it up with her doctor and now she’s getting depression meds too. But those meds kill her appetite. So she needs meds to help her eat. And then THOSE haves side effects. So now we’re giving medication to treat the side effects of other medications. So she is now takes up to 17 pills per day. Seventeen, that’s crazy!
It’s no wonder people who’ve never considered cannabis are starting to give it a thought. I think it’s because now people are not limited to smoking it (a common misconception). It’s not just “getting high.” Many forms don’t get you high at all. There are oils, creams, vapes, capsules, edibles, all sorts of different medical forms. People who would never smoke anything are still able to find relief (and kick some medications) using cannabis.
But there’s still a stigma associated with it, and for good reason. For decades they told us cannabis was terrible. They said you couldn’t be a good person if you medicated with cannabis. They told us there was no medical use, all while shoving pills down our throats (coincidence?).
But with new research coming to light (and states across the nation legalizing), we’re starting to see how they were wrong. We’re starting to see the true benefits (both health wise and tax wise) medical cannabis can have for the state. We’re finally getting an alternative to a hand full of pills. A new option. A greener option.
I don’t know about you, but I like the sound of that.
Dustin Belvin is the owner of The Remedy and a Durant-based medical marijuana activist.