KY: Nursing Student Advocates For Medical Marijuana

Photo Credit: Eric Hasert

Courtney Jackson, an advocate for the legalization of medical marijuana, is driven by her fear of never being able to live a normal life.

At age five, Jackson was diagnosed with epilepsy. Her various types of seizures, combined with the side effects of her medications, has prompted her to support the medical use of marijuana.

“I think that’s the worst thing for people like me-that we can’t live normal lives,” said Jackson.

Jackson is a senior at Morehead State University studying in the nursing program with a focus on chemical dependency. In addition to her seizures, Jackson also suffers from the side effects caused by her medication, which include depression, mood swings, insomnia and weight loss.

A bill currently going through legislature, House Bill 166, would allow medical marijuana to be used in some cases. However, many local law enforcement officials have expressed their opposition to the drug.

The form of medical cannabis that Jackson endorses is in the form of CBD tablets, which is a measured dosage of cannabis oil and does not create a euphoric high. CBD does not affect the same receptors as THC.

“A large swath of not just Kentuckians, but people across the board, realize that what we have here is a plant that can help a lot of people like me,” Jackson said.

Jackson believes that the issue of legalization is a “people” issue- not a political one. She advocates with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Forward Appalachia and Indivisible East KY to allow her voice to be heard.

“I think if I had this, things would change radically for me and people like me, I truly believe that,” added Jackson.