- Jennifer Betz
Health Equity and Cannabis Law Enforcement
BIOPIC Group Established to Address Concerns
The fact that marijuana legislation and enforcement in the United States has been grossly imbalanced throughout history is no secret. Virginia law enforcement is famously tough on drug-related offenses, and this unfortunately has led to an unfair share of BIOPIC lives being ruined because of simple cannabis possession.
The biased enforcement may be one critical reason people of color who qualify for medical marijuana in Virginia have been hesitant to take advantage of legal access to cannabis products that can treat their symptoms and conditions.
Medical marijuana has come a long way in the last few years, and the Commonwealth is working toward a system of cannabis laws that are hip to the will of the people these days.
However, many people of color are still uneasy about the consequences they could face as a result of marijuana use—and rightly so! Even though people of color make up only 19% of Virginia’s population, they made up 49% of marijuana cases and 51% of guilty verdicts in Virginia in 2018, according to a report by Capital News Service.
At the intersection of the cannabis-related law enforcement imbalance and medical marijuana hesitancy, sits the issue of health equity. The fact that women, people of color, and those living below the poverty line are largely ignored in medicine has been highlighted throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and we as a nation must find new ways to bring these populations back into the fold.
Balancing Health Equity Through Cannabis
The Association for Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine (ACHEM) is one organization recently founded to begin to address health equity and cannabis issues among people of color. Board member Dr. Jessica Knox says, "It’s time we flip the medical paradigm to one where lifestyle interventions, mind-body therapies, and natural medicines become our first-line treatments instead of our last."
Cannabis works with the whole body, treating multiple symptoms and conditions at once. This makes it an ideal option for people who have limited access to traditional Western medicine.
The challenge, then, is finding ways to show people who have traditionally been mistreated and injured by an unfair law enforcement system, that they will not be punished for legal, medical cannabis use.
Chair of the ACHEM Board of Directors, Dr. Rachel Knox is quoted on the website, saying, “We know that patients do clinically best when their care is managed by medical providers who look like them, so it's time we increase the ranks of cannabinoid medicine specialists and endocannabinologists within BIPOC communities."
If you’re interested in supporting the mission of health equity in Virginia and all over the US, visit ACHEM’s website and sign up for their newsletter. Healthcare professionals can join the network as members of ACHEM, and anyone can donate and participate in one of the most important conversations for America’s future.
Get a Medical Marijuana Card for A Holistic Approach to Better Health
When you want to use a holistic approach to treating your conditions, medical marijuana is an excellent option. It is legal in Virginia, and getting a medical marijuana card means you have legal access to cannabis products that can help alleviate chronic pain, nausea, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and a variety of other conditions and symptoms.
Schedule a telehealth appointment with one of our compassionate doctors today, to get all your questions answered and find the natural relief you deserve.
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
At Virginia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to MMJ. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (888) 633-5808, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Virginia!