Amy Webb: AMVETS supports medical marijuana, why doesn't Anne Arundel?

Amy Webb: AMVETS supports medical marijuana, why doesn’t Anne Arundel?

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Amy Webb of Annapolis is the national legislative policy adviser for AMVETS, one of the country’s largest and most inclusive veterans service organizations. Contact her at awebb@amvets.org (Courtesy photo) It has been perplexing to try and follow the opposition to medical cannabis dispensaries in Anne Arundel County. Arguments used seem based on fear and age-old stereotypes. As an advocate for veterans on behalf of AMVETS, the issue of medical marijuana is often discussed. In 2016, AMVETS membership passed a resolution pushing for veterans’ access to medical marijuana, which makes it part of our legislative agenda. The American Legion has a similar resolution, and we are not alone in this. Veterans’ service organizations (VSOs) are historically conservative, yet they are on-board, and Congress is starting to listen. To our delight, last week former Speaker of the House John Boehner made a public 180 on the marijuana issue and said his thinking has evolved. “I’m convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities." A day later, President Donald Trump agreed to sign legislation protecting states’ marijuana laws from federal interference. The elected leaders of Maryland and Anne Arundel County need to similarly evolve their thinking and help change the narrative. Maryland is one of 29 states with legalized medical cannabis. About 19,500 residents are medically certified. Dispensaries are modern, employ trained staff, and are strict regarding entry. Generally, they sell state-grown flower, vaporizer pens, oils, tinctures, creams, and pain patches which are varied combinations of quality-controlled THC and CBD. To be a certified patient in Maryland you must provide medical documentation proving you suffer from a covered ailment which includes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic or severe pain. While there is a common misconception that Annapolis […]

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