EDUCATION & RESEARCH
Although properly registered patients are protected from state arrest and prosecution, many of these individuals are subjected to harassment and discrimination in employment, child custody, housing, public accommodation, education, and medical care. There remains a stigma associated with medical marijuana, even while it is being recommended by licensed physicians, and even while it is legal for use among our own neighboring states. While we continue to work to remove this stigma at the federal level, we can also work at a local level by connecting patients to social services and support networks that assist those who would otherwise be isolated by their conditions.
The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) will allow the DEA to reschedule or deschedule a substance according to a specific research and testing process. But most pharmaceutical companies perceive a scheduled substance to be a deterrent, and will generally not proceed with such research because of the fact that it limits their market share; restricted access, physician disinclination to prescribe the substance, stigma, and the expenses and delays involved will keep them from even starting. (Institute of Medicine. Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. Pg. 200-201 Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1999).
We want to help the state government to align with the federal government. Past Supreme Court cases Gonzales v. Raich, and Kha v. Garden Grove, underlined the power of state and local governments to uphold their laws even when in conflict with federal law. The State of Nevada has worked tirelessly to match this demand, and we seek to assist by providing the patient research, results, and subsequent data that may further catapult Nevada along this journey. If we are able to conduct patient trials and record their data, we will have hard evidence to support our stance. If the numbers become a reality, the DEA, in its responsibility to the health and welfare of all citizens, will have no choice but to listen to our pleas. We wish not to be a rebel, nor a hindrance, but a standard to be measured and set, by which all others who follow must reach. We wish to create the responsibility.
Science and policy should never be hindered by the debate of unfounded opinions. State leadership, backed by scientific consensus, benefits real patients by creating sound policies to support long-term solutions. This is about patients. This is about their freedom to live a full and adequate life, void of any stigma.