EDITORIAL: Illegal cannabis fosters growing pains
Bill proposes menstrual cramps qualify for medicinal marijuana
If you’re a woman, you know that time of the month when you feel like your insides are twisted and tightened into painful knots. Menstrual cramps are debilitating. There are ways to soothe the pain, such as using severe painkillers, which, unfortunately, may have unsettling side effects. And there may be times when medications thought to be highly potent are actually not strong enough.
At the end of the day women either have to deal with negative side effects or with the drug not working at all. It’s a classic lose-lose situation, and women are forced to call out from work or miss class, resigning in defeat, settling into bed and clutching their abdomens in tears.
Luckily, there are people who are trying to fix this issue. New Jersey Reps. Angelica Jimenez (D-District 32), Tim Eustace (D-District 38) and L. Grace Spencer (D-District 29) introduced the addition of menstrual cramps to the approved list of conditions that can be treated by medical marijuana so New Jersey women could be qualified to find relief. Tim Eustace, the only male author, said that he was inspired by Whoopi Goldberg’s new line of marijuana infused products that help women with menstrual pain. He also said the state would be refusing to acknowledge women’s wellness and productivity if they continued to bar women’s access to a product that has the opportunity to heal a serious medical condition.
He’s right: Menstrual cramps, or dysmenorrhea, are a barrier to women’s capacity to function. When about half of the population is under severe discomfort, then half of the population’s productivity is hampered. It’s a strong argument, but everyone should care simply because a portion of the population must regularly undergo this period of misery.
But typically ruining all that is good, Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) vowed that he would he block the proposed bill as long as he’s in his office. However, Christie should not only allow the bill — which makes dysmenorrhea qualify for the use of medical marijuana — to pass, it is in his best interest and the state’s best interest to make marijuana legal in New Jersey.
First and foremost, marijuana provides a natural and cheaper alternative to artificial and expensive drugs. Medicines nowadays are composed of obscure chemical compounds and ingredients that can’t be pronounced barring people from knowing what they’re putting in their body. There is a better option available that’s natural and won’t burn holes through the layman’s pockets.
Second, taxes imposed on cannabis products could put more money in the government, which can provide for the needs of New Jerseyans. So instead of cutting funding from critical programs, the government will receive more money from the taxation of marijuana products. The money obtained from taxes could also fix potholes, invest in weakened infrastructure and under-funded educational systems.
For example, by collecting marijuana taxes perhaps resources for the Equal Opportunity Fund (EOF) wouldn’t be slashed. Right now, Christie’s administration released the state budget for 2017, and it shows that it’s reducing $2.57 million from EOF. About 2,600 low-income Rutgers students rely on this program, and thousands of underprivileged students throughout the state, from numerous universities depend on this program. If we gained money from marijuana taxes, these programs could have the chance to prosper.
Instead of trying to ignore how people continue to use marijuana despite its illegal status, Christie’s administration can face reality and work with current circumstances. Stereotypes of lazy and jobless stoners are perpetuated, but these are simplistic caricatures of real life. Most people don’t realize that there are straight-A students who use marijuana or cancer patients who use cannabis to cope with chemotherapy.
Medical marijuana in New Jersey should be allowed for women’s dysmenorrhea, or marijuana should be legalized altogether.
The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 148th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.