I read an article in the National Memo describing how judges are beginning to issue orders regarding insurance coverage for prescription medical cannabis. It’s interesting that the rest of the world moves on while the Federal Government digs its head further into the sand on this issue. The rollout of cannabis legalization in states like Oregon has had mixed results. Colorado seems to have figured out the process even with the banking issues but I don’t live there so I don’t really know first hand what patients experience in their state. Washington State apparently has its own set of problems.
The Oregon legislature, on the other hand, decided to rewrite the law that we voted into place so that what we have now doesn’t exactly resemble that original measure. People invested in land to grow cannabis only to discover that the legislature voted to allow areas to ban such grows if they so desired instead of allowing the original law to stand as written. The original law allowed for that possibility but by a citizen vote every two years and not by city governments. It wasn’t the best situation to invest your money in given a potential ban written into the law as far as I was concerned, but at least cannabis growers would have some time to get started. But with the legislative changes how many growers were dead in the water after investing everything they had?
Retail outlets are only now opening with dispensaries fulfilling their role in the interim creating potential headaches for patients. A report was issued to the committee governing cannabis in our state regarding the black market aspect that still exists and of course, the blame was placed on medical growers going rogue. Never mind the position the Oregon Legislature has put everyone in, growers, patients, business owners alike, by changes we didn’t vote for and the over-regulation of everything. It’s the medical growers. Right.
Many cannabis users become excited at the thought of legalization without realizing the problems it creates. We’re essentially asking for a plant to be legalized that should have never been criminalized in the first place. By legalizing, we validate what the government did all those years ago instead of standing firm on the truth that cannabis is safe to use in whatever manner an individual chooses.
Hemp was made illegal at the same time as cannabis which was ridiculous at best but made the cotton and paper products industries happy. Paper should be made from trees and clothing should be made from cotton. Hemp could be processed into fuel or into manufacturing supplies of all kinds, but the federal government decided that it was better to protect some business owners over hemp farmers. Instead of using corn which strips the soil of its nutrients in the production of gasoline, hemp could be used, a better option given it actually nourishes the soil where it grows. But, no.
Although medical cannabis is expensive to buy in dispensaries, and insurance companies covering medicinal cannabis would go far to defray that cost, in truth, cannabis should be readily available in all forms in the produce department as well as the organic food and supplement section of your local grocery store. We shouldn’t need a prescription that needs to be reimbursed by an insurance company in the first place.
Cannabis should be freely grown, purchased or used by anyone who wants it with no restrictions whatsoever. Again, doing anything else validates and gives cover to the government’s initial decision to criminalize a plant that was safe and part of our country’s pharmacopeia. They lied. It’s as simple as that. And people have gone to prison for that lie and suffered from ill health when they could have used a herb that was safe.
The current Attorney General is as backward on the issue as he could possibly be and it’s difficult to believe any sane policies will emerge from his office. But as insurance companies may find, until a judge determines that the cannabis laws are unconstitutional, they along with the rest of us will have to put up with federal and state controls that get us nowhere.