Policy & Law

Is Medical Marijuana Access a Civil Right?

Knowing that we have certain unalienable rights is a huge part of how we function as a modern society. These civil rights were championed by Martin Luther King. Jr., one of the most distinguished leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.

The Civil Rights Movement helped shape history by insisting that racial discrimination be eradicated in the United States. Thousands demonstrated their demands by letting their voices be heard and boycotting institutions that refused to give them the dignities allotted to all humankind.

Hundreds of years ago, the United States was founded upon beliefs that assured us the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Contemporary interpretations of this include the resources and institutions that help us live, feel free and be happy as people. Recent movements in support of civil rights include efforts to achieve equality for women, members of the LGBTQ+ community and immigrants. No matter how you shape it, we’re all entitled to respect, health and wellness regardless of what walk of life we’ve taken.

Civil rights for medical marijuana users

As we apply decades-old concepts of civil rights to both minorities and underrepresented groups, it’s easy to identify other intersections of society that are being denied access to the life they want to live, including people who want to use natural medicine instead of pharmaceuticals. When integrating medical marijuana into our current lives and future outlooks, it’s crucial that we don’t forget the freedoms that Americans have yet to be granted — namely, safe and legal access to cannabis.

Limitations set by the federal government do not allow every American to choose medicinal alternatives like cannabis for their medical care. Citizens are not automatically granted access to non-pharmaceutical care such as all-natural cannabis. Even in states that allow medical marijuana, protection from prosecution by employers or the law is not guaranteed.

Joining groups that advocate for medical marijuana users is beneficial for the civil rights of the American people and other cannabis users around the world. Next time you have the opportunity to join a cause like the Empowerment Movement or support pro-cannabis political efforts, consider how your actions can help medical marijuana patients and their access to the medicine they need to be at their best – the natural way.