In this election and beyond, one issue that will frame the face of Lansing during the next 10 years is the topic of medical cannabis. As a city, we seem divided on the topic. Today, I would like to take a few moments and discuss what I have learned during my study of the topic and embrace the issue and as a side note, we should refer to the term as cannabis as opposed to marijuana because as I have learned in my studies, cannabis and medical treatment are terms of art within the healthcare sector.
As a strong Christian, there has always been a belief that any narcotic is not only illegal but personally, it is something that has been viewed as immoral. My view on medical marijuana is something that has evolved over the last year because while there are inherent dangers that we need to legislate, there is also a tremendous amount of positives that can come with the acceptance of cannabis for ailments. In addition to the medical positives, there is also a great amount of economic incentive that we can embrace within our city and state if the topic of medical marijuana is addressed properly.
As far as the medical aspects go, I kept hearing that when used properly, cannabis can do things that have not been accomplished with tradition medicine. Sadly, I have firsthand knowledge of loved ones dying of cancer without a strong quality of life. After being educated on the topic, I have to wonder if taking cannabis would have made their final days one’s of joy as opposed to the painful one they endured and I do feel that it is my civic duty to explain what has been learned.
I decided to take a proactive approach and research the “Southeast Business Development Conference”. Unfortunately I was not able to attend the event but had the opportunity to view part of the conference online. I learned many entrepreneurs started their journey in cannabis for health reasons and turned a necessary entity is a financial windfall and I truly believe that we could do the same here in Lansing is we organize things properly.
I viewed a moving piece of the event where famed-television news anchor Anqunette “Q” Jamison spoke to the crowd. Jamison spoke of her battles with “MS” and explained how cannabis has brought a quality of life back to her world. She also reached out and thanks Michelle Allen of Intessa Certification for helping her obtain a cannabis card so that she could experience all of what the plant has to offer. Jamison’s story is one that is well-documented and one that was extremely emotional as this strong woman sat there and spoke of how her life has been altered but how cannabis is bringing her life back to normalcy.
While the story of Anqunette Jamison is one of courage and perseverance, it was amazing to see how cannabis has played such a vital role in her daily life. Jamison’s story, while remarkable is far from isolated. There is no question that if we as a city could embrace and legislate medical cannabis, the benefits can strongly outweigh the negatives. It all goes back to this “Everybody Deserves a Seat at the Table”! Thank you for your time.
Yanice Y. Jackson
Candidate-Lansing City Council –At Large