Medical Marijuana Legalized in Hawaii

Marijuana is also Medicine

Sofia Domingo, Reporter

In the year 2017, Hawaii Legislature approved the dispensary of medical marijuana, however, it is only used to treat medical conditions. On August 9, 2017, Aloha Green started to let patients, with their dispensary licenses, purchase medical marijuana.

At the end of January 2016, there were 13,021 valid patients for the medical marijuana program (Medical Cannabis Program). An individual who wants to obtain medical marijuana must have a medical condition that requires a medical marijuana prescription from a licensed physician and a 329 card, a license that allows a person to acquire medical marijuana. Even though it is legalized, a person can still get convicted for purchasing marijuana illegally.

“People need it for certain diseases.” said Emily Lehua, a sophomore student at James Campbell High School (JCHS). “It is good to legalize medical marijuana if it’s used for good purposes like for health benefits but it should not be put into the wrong hands.”

Cancer, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, epilepsy, muscle spasms, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis are some of the medical conditions marijuana can be used to treat (LegiScan).

The Hawaii Legislature approved the use of medical marijuana in 2000, but it was only for seriously ill patients. Dispensaries were not established during that time.

Illustration by Sofia Domingo.

Marijuana can be used as a pain reliever and gives patients a feeling of euphoria. But has its negative effects, especially for teenagers or young people who are heavy marijuana users. It can affect the attention, memory, and learning of a person depending on his or her experience and history with marijuana (National Institute on Drug Abuse).

Currently, there are teenagers in Hawaii who smoke marijuana. If they smoke marijuana it can affect their education, social lives, physical and mental health. Not to mention they are more prone to accidents.

It is currently legal to drink alcohol if an individual is over the age of 21. Drinking has become normal over the years despite the fact that at one point in time it was illegal. Marijuana was once illegal to use, but now medical marijuana is seen as okay. Legalizing marijuana might change people’s perspectives, similar to how perspectives on alcohol have changed.

The legalization of medical marijuana is a great opportunity for those seeking for a solution to their conditions. People who are in chronic pain can now be treated easier, but marijuana should not be abused by those who do not have a medical condition that requires its treatment. Even though marijuana is very helpful to certain diseases, keep in mind that there are still negative effects.