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Is Medical Marijuana a Trojan Horse for Full Scale Legalization?

Is Kevin Sabet right about opening the cannabis floodgate?

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Wednesday Oct 10, 2018
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Is Medical Marijuana a Trojan Horse for Full Scale Legalization?

We’ve heard this argument from those who oppose legalized cannabis claiming that “Medical Marijuana legalization” is merely a Trojan horse for “recreational legalization”. According to people like Kevin Sabet, this is a nefarious plot by “Big Marijuana” to dupe society into buying the “medical argument” of cannabis with the hopes of pushing their “devil’s lettuce” down the throats of innocent children.

However, let’s see if there is some validity in relation to these paranoid claims. After all, unlike the prohibition camp, people seeking cannabis legalization tend to want facts and reason to support their arguments. That’s why it’s important to ask and answer the tough questions…even when it might not fit into your own narrative of what’s “right or wrong”.

So…is medical marijuana merely a Trojan Horse for recreational legalization?


Let’s go back to the late 90s

The medical argument for cannabis has been around for centuries. We have a rich history of human interaction with the plant specifically for medical purposes. Prior to 1937, cannabis based medicines were wildly available. It was used to treat pain, help with anxiety and stress, gout, depression and a whole array of other conditions.

In the late 90’s, California was the first US state to legalize marijuana for a medical purpose – to help Cancer and AIDS/HIV Patients provide relief for their symptoms. You see, people suffering from AIDS/HIV suffer from neuropathic pain and a condition called “Withering Disease”. This is where the patient begins to lose weight dramatically and begins to literally “wither away”.

It turns out that since cannabis helps stimulate the appetite, deals with neuropathic pain and inflammation and provides relief from anxiety, stress and depression, the use of cannabis was a perfect remedy for this incurable disease [to provide relief to the patient].

Similarly, for people that are suffering from cancer, cannabis seemed to be a perfect fit to deal with the harsh side effects of Chemotherapy. Not to mention that there is some evidence to suggest that cannabis can help kill certain types of cancer.

As a result, the people voted to legalize medical cannabis for people suffering from particular symptoms including; pain, Cancer, HIV/AIDS and a few others.

Over the years, the symptom list expanded and became more inclusive to a wider population and as a result, California became the leader-state in terms of Medical Marijuana. Places like Washington State didn’t take too long to follow suit. In fact, the entire West Coast saw the benefit of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.


Why is this important?

Because if Kevin Sabet was correct in his statement that Medical marijuana is merely a Trojan Horse, it would mean that “Big Marijuana” would have been involved in the initial legalization in California 20 years ago.

The truth is that “Big Marijuana”, as Sabet calls it…didn’t exist back then. Unlike “Big Tobacco” that was in existence and commercially available, the medical cannabis industry started with local farmers, collectives and caregivers. There was no single organization at the helm of cannabis, thus making it impossible to be a “Trojan Horse” for a corporate takeover.

However, over the years, some organizations did generate millions of dollars on cannabis and the landscape of the industry changed significantly. As more states embraced the idea of medical cannabis, the idea of legalizing it for recreational purposes wasn’t too far-fetched. It was in 2012 that the first states embraced this framework and then everything changed.



The Great Experiment

States like Colorado and Washington became pioneers in the legal marijuana market and as a result many more people were making money from the crop [including the State]. All eyes were on these two states and when the ‘apocalyptic scenarios of prohibition’ didn’t play out…more states opted in for a legal framework.

It made sense that states with a more robust medical marijuana infrastructure could transition to a legal recreational framework with greater ease. And this is where the misconception of the “Trojan Horse” theory was born.

Since cannabis became corporate, they also started investing in lobbies, supporting politicians that backed pro-cannabis policy and started spending millions on advertisement to educate the public on the benefits of legalization.

Therefore, it’s easy to think that medical cannabis is merely a smokescreen for recreational marijuana and perhaps today, medical cannabis is somewhat of a Trojan Horse for recreational marijuana. Considering that more than 90% of the US is in favor of medical cannabis, it’s simply easier to legalize it for these purposes as an initial point of departure.

This allows the local populace to see how cannabis looks like under a legal framework. It usually takes a few years for the local population to see the benefits of cannabis legalization and in turn open up to the idea of full-scale legalization.

To sum it all up;

Is Medical Cannabis a Trojan Horse for Recreational Marijuana? – No, medical cannabis is its own thing however it does help as a springboard for wider legalization.

Is there a thing such as “Big Marijuana”?  - No, unlike Tobacco [who is subsidized by the government], there is no single organization or conglomerate of organizations working on duping the public into believing that marijuana has no dangers, but rather pointing out that the prohibition model simply doesn’t work adequately to protect consumers, children or provide additional benefit to society.

Is Medical Cannabis a Trojan Horse for Full Scale Legalization? from CannabisNet on Vimeo.









medical conditions cannabis can treat


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