Martin provides insight on medical marijuana

Gresham resident says there are little to no downsides to legalizing pot for illness
Lee Pulaski
City Editor

As the state of Wisconsin continues the discussions into legalizing medical marijuana, one local resident shared his thoughts on why it should be legalized.

Roy Martin, Gresham native and Indigenous Ideas LLC Certified Cannabis Specialist, said that he is in favor of legalizing medical marijuana because it is a substitute for opiates.

“This is really important,” said Martin. “With the 100,000 opiate deaths in the country a year, they could be prevented by not getting people addicted to the opiates in the first place. Most of these people start out with a legal prescription from their doctor, and then they get addicted to it. Then their prescription ends and they have to look to other means to satisfy that craving.”

He said that the process of legalizing medical marijuana has hit a crossroads after Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said that if Gov. Tony Evers put legalization into the budget, it would not allow for a medical bill.

“He is pretty much now blocking it — the medical in the state has taken a step backwards now,” said Martin. “It does not sound like they are going to have the support in the Republican Assembly to get it through.”

On April 20 last year, Martin appeared in person in Madison when the medical marijuana bill was on the table. While there, he testified at the Senate hearing regarding the bill.

“I introduced them to some things that they did not even know, and one of the big things was that they are under the misconception that was told by law enforcement that smokable cannabis has been found with fentanyl in it,” said Martin. “I had to get the report from the Drug Enforcement Agency that they have found not one case in the entire nation of flower cannabis having fentanyl on it.”

Martin said that part of the reason why Wisconsin has not legalized medical marijuana is due to the misconceptions surrounding it.

“It comes in so many different forms and different methods, and they want to reduce everything down to a pill,” said Martin. “That is the most dangerous way to take it. Smokable cannabis is the safest and most effective way. The problem with putting everything in a pill form is as soon as you put it into a pill form, the Mexican cartel is going to start making fake pills. And we are going to have cannabis — which never in history has had an overdose death — overdoses with people taking fentanyl, when they thought they were taking cannabis.”

Taking the pills for example, Martin said that those would take longer to have an effect on someone who is taking cannabis for PTSD. He added that the pills can also cause no effect in the user.

“Smokable cannabis is what you give to someone who has PTSD, because they don’t have two hours to wait for that to kick in,” said Martin. “In about 30% of the people they tested, the edibles don’t have any affect on them.”

He added that a problem here in Wisconsin, too, is that the surrounding states, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota, have or are in the process of legalizing medical marijuana. Especially with Minnesota getting close to legalization, Martin said that most Wisconsinites will live in an area with a short drive to purchase legal cannabis.

“When you have Delta 8, which is readily available, it has the same smell and when you take a test it is going to test the same, because they test for the metabolization in urine — it all comes out the same and they can’t tell the difference between them,” said Martin. “Police are pulling people over and finding what could be legal hemp. They arrest them, they go to jail and someone could lose their job, because we have the assumption of guilt.”

In terms of pros to legalizing marijuana, Martin pointed to the cost effectiveness if someone does not have health insurance or the ability to pay large medical bills.

“Cannabis is easily grown at your house, and it is something that someone could grow themselves specifically for what they need and they don’t need to go broke,” said Martin. “We also have to find how to help those who can’t grow cannabis by themselves, so there needs to be a caregiver program, where someone can grow it for them.”

Martin said that if the medical marijuana can be regulated correctly, there are little to no downsides of legalizing it.

“Without proper regulation of a new market, there is going to be a whole lot of people that jump in and swindle others,” said Martin. “If medical cannabis is done properly, there is not a lot of downsides to it.”

In terms of his confidence whether Wisconsin is going to legalize medical marijuana, Martin said that with the introduction of new Assembly members, discussions could continue to progress. He put a caveat on that though, saying that those who are in leadership are opposed to it.

“Without Robin Vos and (State Senate Majority Leader) Devin LeMahieu getting behind it, I don’t have a whole lot of faith that they are going to push something through without more education,” said Martin.

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