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There are, in October of 2011, sixteen states in the US that have legalized medical marijuana, and there are dispensaries dotted all around those states. This makes it much easier and better for patients to find medical marijuana.
Growing Medical Marijuana and the Honor System
It should all work well for everyone involved, if all the rules are followed; and for the most part, honest caregivers do follow the state‘s rules. However, the situation itself lends opportunity for illegal marijuana dealers to make money selling the drug on the street without being caught as easily.
Caregivers are required to register with their state and (in some states) list their patients, as they are allowed to solicit only a certain number of card-holding patients to grow marijuana for. Most caregivers are honest people who want to supply help for sick people. They’re very good at what they do and they deliver quality products to their patients and dispensaries.
Dishonest caregivers, however, register and sign up with patients and then sell the medical bud on the street, and the patient gets little or nothing. If the dishonest caregiver gets raided by the police, he has all the paperwork that says he grows for a list of particular patients, making him appear to be legal as long as he only has the right number of plants per patient.
The police have no way of knowing whether his medical cannabis gets to the patient or gets sold, so the grower is then free to keep selling his medicine as a recreational drug.
You Don’t Have to Smoke It; Medical Marijuana Types
The medical benefits of cannabis include pain management, effective treatment for sleeplessness and it kills nausea dead - better than anything the pharmaceutical companies can produce. It’s not always smoked, either; it can be made into food, butter, pills, oils, and many other methods of delivery without the patient having to smoke it.
If someone registers with a state caregiver, and then gets no medicine (or not enough medicine), the faulty caregiver can actually be dealt with easily. The patient needs to go online to their state’s registry and remove the caregiver from their records.
Then the patients are free to find and sign on with another caregiver who will actually grow and share medicine with them. When checked by police, his record of patients won’t agree with the state’s record of patients, and you know the rest; jail time!
Unfortunately, there aren’t many locale-specific registries (online or offline) where a patient can go to find a caregiver near them. There are dispensaries that may (or may not) recommend caregivers (but you can meet other patients there and ask around if anyone knows of a caregiver that’s taking on new patients) and there are a handful of organizations that can help (if you can find one), but caregivers are limited on how many patients they can help. Patients outnumber caregivers by a landslide; hence the need for more dedicated growers and dispensaries.
Check Your State’s Medical Marijuana-Friendliness
Different medical marijuana-friendly states have different laws and they should be noted. Cannacentral.com alphabetically lists the states and what they allow on a per patient, per month basis:
As of 2011:
- Alaska allows one ounce of usable marijuana for each patient per month, or six plants; 3 mature and 3 immature grown for them.
- Arizona allows 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana, or up to twelve plants at any stage.
- California allows 8 ounces usable marijuana, or up to 18 plants; six mature and 12 immature.
- Colorado allows two ounces usable marijuana or six plants; 3 mature and 3 immature.
- Hawaii allows three ounces usable marijuana, or seven plants; 3 mature and 4 immature plants.
- Maine allows 2.5 ounces usable marijuana, or six plants at any stage.
- Maryland enacted the Medical Marijuana Affirmative Defense Law in ‘03, but it hasn’t been totally legalized on the state level. However, the misdemeanor marijuana use fine carries a maximum penalty of only $100.
- Michigan allows 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana or up to twelve plants at any stage.
- Montana allows one usable ounce or six plants at any stage.
- Nevada allows one ounce usable marijuana or seven plants; three mature and four immature.
- New Jersey allows two ounces of usable marijuana, but specifies no number of plants grown per patient.
- New Mexico allows six ounces usable marijuana or sixteen plants; 4 mature and 12 immature.
- Oregon allows 24 ounces usable marijuana or 24 plants; six mature and 18 immature plants.
- Rhode Island allows 2.5 ounces usable marijuana or twelve plants at any stage.
- Vermont allows two ounces of usable marijuana or nine plants; two mature, seven immature.
- Washington State allows 24 usable ounces or 15 plants at any stage of maturity.
- Washington DC allows two ounces of usable marijuana, and the number of plants is to be determined at some time in the near future.
Ailments Treated With Medical Marijuana
- Cancer HIV/Aids
- Severe Pain
- Severe Nausea
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Intractable Pain
- Hepatitis C
- Persistent Muscle Spasms
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Crohn’s Disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Nail-Patella Syndrome
- Migraine Headaches
- Any Wasting Condition
It should be noted that all legalized states have their own list of marijuana-treatable maladies; not all the states cover all the same conditions listed and others cover more, or less. It’s wise to check what is legally eligible for treatment in the state it’s prescribed in.
Get your bud - don’t let someone pretend to be a caregiver for you. Make sure they have weed products before you sign on. If you get no weed, turn them in and remove them as caregivers immediately.
“The Oregonian,” Newspaper, several 2011 editions
Channel 12 KATU News in Portland, OR, several shows in 2011
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