In December, the California State Legislature voted in favor of an initiative that would allow the sale of marijuana in stores and through dispensaries, but not on the public square.
The measure, AB 2, was opposed by medical marijuana advocates and the California Nurses Association, who feared it would lead to an increase in traffic to marijuana dispensaries, which can be costly and hard to access.
The Assembly then voted to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances.
But that meant the issue had been dealt with in a way that allowed it to be used as an opportunity to make the case for medical marijuana in California, and for the decriminalization of marijuana.
Medical marijuana advocates are now gearing up for another push for marijuana legalization in 2018, with the legalization of marijuana for people over 21 being a top priority.
As the months go by, medical marijuana will likely be the focus of many campaigns for next year’s election, with polls showing the public backing the initiative.
We spoke to the chief medical officer of the state of California, Dr. Jill McCabe, about how her office is trying to make medical marijuana legal in California.
“We want to ensure that people with chronic pain are able to access medical marijuana, as well as for people with HIV and other conditions,” McCabe said.
“People with cancer or other chronic illnesses are often not able to get access to this medicine.”
She said her office has received more than 100,000 requests to conduct a survey to see if the state is ready to allow medical marijuana for anyone, including adults over 21.
The survey, which will take place in early 2018, will be the first in California since the law changed in January to allow people to obtain medical marijuana from dispensaries.
The California Nursers Association is now preparing to release a survey asking people if they would support medical marijuana dispensaries in their state.
“This is not just a question of medical marijuana,” said Jill McCabe.
“It’s a question about people having access to the medicine, the medical necessity, the safety and quality of the medicine that’s being given to them.”
The survey will ask people if medical marijuana is safe and effective, if they support the legalization, and if they believe it should be legal for adults over the age of 21 to access it.
If the state approves medical marijuana to help alleviate chronic pain, the survey will include questions on how to get started with the medicine.
“As you know, our state has a reputation for being a tough state, and we have a reputation as a compassionate state,” McCabe explained.
“So we’re going to try and ensure that the medical needs of our residents are being met.”
In other words, it will be a big fight in 2018.
In an interview with the Associated Press, McCabe said the poll will be similar to what happened in the U.S. after the passage of medical cannabis in Colorado and Washington, and also as a way to gauge public support.
“The polls will be asking people how they feel about the issue of medical weed, and what their views are,” McCabe told the AP.
“And we will then have to have a really robust public education campaign, and then people will be able to decide what they want to do and how they want their state to go about it.”
The AP interviewed 50 people about their views on medical marijuana and its legalization.
The most popular answer was “yes,” with 63 percent of respondents saying that medical marijuana should be allowed to help relieve chronic pain.
Another 22 percent said they support it, and 4 percent were undecided.
But the survey found that nearly half of respondents were either not familiar with medical marijuana or did not know what it was.
In a statement to The Associated Press on Monday, the Associated Medical Marijuana Association said it is working with the California Department of Public Health to educate people about the benefits of medical use of marijuana, including the importance of taking a painkiller if you are having trouble getting high.
“Marijuana is one of the most effective and safest forms of treatment for people suffering from chronic pain and can help alleviate symptoms of severe pain,” the association said.
As for the number of patients seeking medical marijuana treatment, the AP asked people who would be most likely to benefit from medical marijuana if it became legal.
Only 20 percent said yes.
“What are the people who will benefit the most?
Will the people of California benefit more than people in other states who have been through the legal system?” asked Amanda Miller, a spokesperson for the AP, adding that it’s up to the California Public Health Department to determine if the study has been scientifically accurate.
“Is it going to be more expensive?
Will it have less benefit?”
Medical Marijuana Legalization Project spokesman David Rabinowitz said he is hopeful the poll results will be accurate and that the AP will release its results soon.
“I am confident that the public is aware of the medical benefits of cannabis, and will be open to making that a reality,” Rabinowitz said.