From NY Times: Sometimes lost in the discussion of medical marijuana is the extent to which it has become a small but growing source of new tax collections for cities and states that have been struggling to balance their budgets for more than four years now. Colorado Springs collected more than $700,000 in taxes from the medical marijuana industry in 2011. It is not a lot of money for a big city. But given the harsh steps the city has taken in recent years — in 2010 it shut off a third of its streetlights to save $1.2 million — every bit helps. (Read article: Struggling Cities Turn to a Crop for Cash by clicking the title.)
Over the last decade, my job went online, which meant I could live anywhere in the world, from L.A. to the Philippines, and still continue to work. So I packed up my little business and moved to West Virginia last year, seeking a healthy, serene environment in which to live.
I'm a crime victim and have been dealing with PTSD and its resulting neurological issues for decades. Medical Marijuana has legally been part of my treatment since 1995 when the city of San Francisco passed the first medical marijuana laws, making access to cannabis safe for medical use in that city, then voters in California passed the Compassionate Use Act in 1996
The PTSD with which I deal every day is caused by damage to the nervous system. For some reason marijuana works particularly well on neurological conditions. Maybe because the brain is the main organ of the nervous system. MedMJ works especially well in relieving neuropathic pain a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder experiences, sometimes 24 hours a day.
Many war veterans suffer from the same damage to the nervous system that I have as a crime victim: PTSD. So across the USA we can expect an increase in demand for medical marijuana as the Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans return home.
My health was doing so well in 2010 that I moved to West Virginia from California, knowing my medicine was illegal in this state. I thought at the time that I was now so healthy I could get by without using medical cannabis anymore.
I was wrong.
The PTSD events returned, followed always by crippling pain. I became unable to do the amount of work I really need to do to grow my business.
Doctors are always willing to give me Oxycodone and other toxic and damaging pharmaceuticals once they see my medical records; but, to be honest, I do best with ibuprofen combined with medical marijuana.
When I saw that a bill was introduced in 2011 to create safe access to my medicine in West Virginia, I decided, instead of picking up and taking my business to another state with more modern laws, to start advocating for passage of medical marijuana laws in West Virginia, do whatever can be done using the internet, to help change the law in West Virginia so that sick persons in this state can have safe access to their medicine.
Face it. Even with it being illegal, you can find marijuana with very little effort in almost any town in any state where medical marijuana has not yet been made legal.
Laws against marijuana just keep all the business in the illegal market.
I could go today to local drug dealers and buy cannabis, and they will try to convince me to try something stronger. Afew weeks back, when I was seeking medicine, I approached a local street dealer who said he was out of marijuana and suggested “You should try heroin.”
In fact, if I were so inclined, I could likely find all the "weed" I want by just connecting up with teenagers outside the local high school. But I'm not so inclined.
Obviously, the law in West Virginia needs to reconcile with public practice, otherwise the state will continue to have a thriving illegal drug trade, providing resources for dealers in stronger more dangerous drugs, and supported by sick little old ladies like me going to street dealers to buy our medicine.
In coming years we can expect a growing number of patients in West Virginia to seek medical marijuana, legally or illegally. Patients here will read about people with the same diseases in California, D.C., and New Mexico getting medical relief from the use of this drug.
Let’s work together to create this new industry and take cash from cannabis out of the black market, by creating safe access to medical marijuana in West Virginia.
Reporting from Appalachia
LOBBY FROM YOUR LAPTOP:
From AlterNet SoapBox Lobby for Medical Marijuana in West Virginia, HB4498 (2012) contact info here - 1:25 pm, February 17, 2012
Now that H-B 4498 for Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana has been introduced in the West Virginia State Legislature, next step towards passage would be a public hearing in the Health and Human Resources Committee, whose members’ email addresses and phone numbers are posted below.
(Go to AlterNet SoapBox Lobby for Medical Marijuana in West Virginia, HB4498 (2012) contact info here - to get email addresses of State Delegates on the committee who can move this bill forward. )
Also read http://frackban.org/ about fracking in WV.