Green News Now: COVID-19 and the future of Cannabis
With the complete change in how the world operates there has been increased interest on cannabis in the medical and recreational (or self-medication) space. Many people who have suffered from anxiety and depression in the past who may have gotten a prescription for a benzodiazepine are finding themselves needing to have that old prescription re-filled. However, health care professionals are on demand, and so is there time, making getting an appointment to have “non-essential” drugs prescribed difficult. We have heard of patients not being able to reach healthcare providers and pharmacies shortages of anxiety medications. This world shift has increased global anxiety and the desire for easy to obtain natural healing remedies guiding more people to cannabis and hemp.
Denise C Vidot, PhD, assistant professor at the School of Nursing and Health Studies, said: “The global qualifying conditions for medical cannabis, though not uniform, all include individuals with compromised immune systems and other chronic health conditions. Therefore, this is a population that we cannot forget about in our joint effort to ‘flatten the curve’.
Several lawmakers across the US have designated cannabis and hemp retailers as essential services for the well being of the communities they serve. The public support for these businesses, cannabis legalization and regulation has been on the rise for years. Now the topic is becoming mainstream as we face a debilitating economic shift.
“The economic impact from this virus may be enough for some states to finally get enough votes to pass ‘legalization’ legislation,” Jessica Rabe, co-founder of DataTrek wrote. “While we recognize legal marijuana is a controversial topic for many people, the budget shortfalls that COVID-19 will create may sway opinions about the issue.”
To recap, not only have we seen an increase in global anxiety but we have also seen a decrease in local economy as loss of business income is driving the unemployment factor and business closures worldwide. But one thing hasn’t changed. Consumers are still looking for solutions for their wellness. Before the 2018 farm bill people were still finding ways, albeit illegal, to find their version of natural medicine in the form of cannabis. This has not stopped during COVID-19. Now more than ever we need to look at the federal legalization of cannabis as more and more people are changing their opinions. We need to look at the total impact of legalization on the US both from a medicinal perspective but financial perspective as well. Cannabis may be the very thig to help the US recover from this pandemic on various levels.
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