|Photo: Growing Marijuana|
Arizona’s medical marijuana laws are going into effect, but dispensaries are still don’t know exactly when they’ll be opening their doors. Meanwhile, some patients aren’t waiting for them.
Patients who have already received their medical marijuana cards have already started cultivating their own medicine at home, reports Sonu Wasu at KOLD News 13. Under Arizona’s law, patients who don’t have an operating dispensary within 25 miles are eligible to cultivate — and right now, since no dispensaries are yet open, that includes every patient in the state.
Corey Miller, who applied for a medical marijuana card and checked the box asking whether he intended to cultivate plants for personal use, has already received his card and started the process.
|Photo: KOLD News 13|
|Corey Miller: “I’m new at this, so I just went and bought every book I could find and read up on it”|
”I’m new at this, so I just went and bought every book I could find and read up on it, and learned from Marijuana 101,” Miller said. (Check out the mutant plants Corey’s growing in the video at the end of this article — they have no serrations on the leaf blades. Wonder where he got those clones?)
Miller, who has six marijuana plants growing in a hydroponic setup, said he needed medicinal cannabis for the pain and injuries he received while serving in the Army in Afghanistan.
A retired lieutenant, he was injured by an improvised explosive device while traveling in a convoy. Two of his fellow soldiers were killed in that attack.
Miller said he has has carpal tunnel in his arms, pain in his feet, and titanium screws in his body.
He was taking six pain pills a day, including Vicodin and Percocet, and said the prescription medication made him tired and unable to function.
Miller said he felt medical marijuana is a much better way to control his pain and still manage to live his everyday life without the heavy side effects of harsh pharmaceutical narcotics.
Arizona patients are allowed to grow up to 12 plants for personal use, according to Jill Wohlfiel, spokesperson for the South West Arizona Patients Alliance (SWAPA). Caregivers approved by the state can cultivate plants for up to four patients.
Wohlfield said SWAPA intends to stand up for all the patients who received medical marijuana cards and make sure they aren’t harassed by law enforcement for exercising their rights as patients.
SWAPA plans to hold monthly educational classes on patient-related topics such as cannabis cultivation and applying for medical marijuana cards.
The classes will include instruction on various ways to consume medical marijuana, such as by cooking into breads, soups, and cookies, and vaporizing the herb for those who prefer not to smoke.
SWAPA is also trying to raise money for patients who are on disability or a fixed income and cannot afford the $150 application fee for a medical marijuana card.