Read Alex’s Story before this if you want to know who we’re talking about here. A quick summary, though:
- Alex is a child with autism, seizures, and severe self-injurious behaviors
- We’ve tried many medications and talked to several specialists over the past several years, all with no luck
- Marijuana, approved in Oregon for his seizures, proved to calm Alex while also making him more engaged in the world around him
- We couldn’t keep a steady supply of marijuana, and Alex no longer can live with us
- His new state-run home will not give him marijuana even if we find a supply
- His behaviors are once again getting bad, and they’ve had to use physical restraints multiple times to keep Alex safe
- Our life is a living hell right now
The OCTA (Oregon Cannabis Tax Act) was the first glimmer of hope in a while for us. We found out about this mid-April, about six weeks after Alex left our care. I’m all for personal cultivation and use of marijuana, because I believe it should be an individual’s choice. But more importantly for Alex and others like him, a doctor could prescribe a set dose. A pharmacy could fill it. Anybody who was willing could give Alex his dose. Even if the state-run facility still refused to officially do it, I think we’d have a much easier time convincing them to follow his doctor’s advice.
I’m certain Alex would be living a better life with a carefully measured dose of marijuana every day, and the right strain such that he calms down, but stays alert and focused.
Other benefits of the OCTA:
- The OCTA would keep the current DUII laws in place for people who abuse marijuana and drive.
- The OCTA would make it illegal for anybody under 21 to use marijuana (other than medically necessary uses), and better yet, would make it so a person convicted of selling to a minor would lose their right to possess, cultivate, and consume marijuana.
- As mentioned above, a doctor could specifically prescribe marijuana to patients. Today’s Oregon law makes it the patient’s responsibility to find a supply. In California, the law allows dispensaries, but those are still close to black-market prices from what I’ve read and heard. If prescribed by a doctor, a patient would get the medication essentially at a fair market value. Marijuana is very cheap to grow, so this would be a huge benefit.
- Marijuana legalization would cripple the black-market pot operations. By getting prices down to a reasonable level (pot can be grown in the wild for 1/10th to 1/100th of today’s black-market values), and getting quality marijuana in state-regulated stores, crime related to marijuana would all but vanish. But don’t take my word for it, take the word of the illegal growers in California worried about the impact to their bottom line: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36025681/ns/us_news-life/
- Medicinal benefits could get the research they really need. Some people say it can cure cancer when done right. Maybe it can and maybe it can’t, but it’s almost impossible to do a proper study when the MMJ laws are so flawed, and the legality is still so nebulous.
- Hemp production would allow for very cheap paper, fabrics, biofuels, and even food!