U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from New York told Fox News on Thursday that the “person who testified against a marijuana hearing was from the opioid industry.”
In mid-February, Gillibrand became the second lawmaker cosponsoring a bill aimed at ending marijuana prohibition and disproportionate arrests of people of color over cannabis possession.
The prominent senator said for the opioid industry legalizing marijuana is bad news as it is “competition for chronic pain,” she said, adding “that is outrageous.”
Some experts are pushing for marijuana to be an alternative other than opioid for those suffering from pain as the U.S. is currently experiencing an “opioid crisis.” Critics of marijuana say the green herb is a gateway drug.
Gillibrand dismissed these claims.
She said that “marijuana is not highly addictive,” and has proved to be helpful to patients suffering from various ailments such as medicating seizures suffered by children with epilepsy.
“It is not a gateway to opioid,” she said.
“The way I see it is that the opioid industry and the companies that make manufacture it are just trying to sell more drugs.”
She said U.S. Veterans can’t get their share of medical marijuana to treat their PTSD from the federally-funded Veteran Affairs Department even if their state of origin “allows it.”
Federally, marijuana is prohibited, however, there about nine states that allow recreational marijuana and 29 others permit medical cannabis.
There are disproportionate arrests of people of color over marijuana despite that there is a uniform use of cannabis among all U.S. different demographics, Gillibrand said Latinos and blacks are “10 more likely to be arrested…it is a problem, it is not right.”
Due to the criminal justice issue and its medical benefits, she said marijuana “should be a legal product.”[share-btn]