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Vermont’s Legislature Just Voted to Legalize Marijuana

The Vermont state legislature has just approved legalizing marijuana, and if the governor signs it into law, it will become the 10th state to legalize it for recreational purposes, Vox reports. Supporters argue that it will stop illicit trade that includes drug cartels; opponents say it will encourage irresponsible use of the drug.

While smoking marijuana was once viewed as an act of political dissidence against the Vietnam War, today the plant is recognized as an invaluable medicine and commodity that's generated billions of dollars in revenue in states where it is now fully legalized. Yet, cannabis remains illegal at the federal level and is considered by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) a Schedule 1 drug alongside heroine, LSD and ecstasy.

This is outrageous, considering that the majority of Americans support cannabis either as a medicine, for recreational use or both. Medicinally, it’s a vastly underutilized therapeutic option that is an excellent muscle relaxer that can ease spasms and pain. For this use, it can also be applied topically, although edible versions tend to provide the deepest and most long-lasting relaxation and pain relief.

THC is famous for settling nausea associated with chemotherapy, too, and for helping to reduce the intraocular pressure of glaucoma. HIV and cancer are other indications for use, as cannabis helps with sleep, nausea and immune support, and has anti-tumor activity. Legalized, it also could help control the opioid epidemic, as research shows that medical marijuana lowers prescription drug use. I personally believe there are many still undiscovered benefits of taking cannabis therapeutically. There are no real downsides and no major adverse effects.
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