Monday, April 27th, 2020
by Elizabeth Kirwin
After spending 2017-2019 in Colorado, and now living in New Jersey, I am absolutely a Medical Cannabis activist. I feel there is really no need for recreational marijuana dispensaries in the U.S. if Medical Cannabis is made legal throughout the land.
The problem is that we have been working on Medical Marijuana since the mid 1990’s in California, and the rest of the country just has not caught on completely. Places in the South, where cannabis has always been grown and sold illegally, are set staunchly against cannabis legalization for instance. Even conservative politicians warm far more easily to the idea of Medical Marijuana programs with proven results.
Yet the medical cannabis programs sometimes meet resistance at a state level, too. It could take years to pass a medical marijuana bill with a list of realistic medical conditions that can be addressed by cannabis. Then, some states, like Oklahoma, take forever to start launching the actual growing and dispensing of marijuana because matters are held up by politics for – over two years. Where is the sense in this? What is the capitalist equation? It’s an equation for disaster if a dispensary is in business to make money.
When a consumer has to cross state lines to obtain medical marijuana it’s a great big hassle. Even in states in the U.S. where medical cannabis is legal, medical cards are not honored across state lines. Some states have reciprocal agreements, but not all. For example Coloradans with med cards can cross over into Nevada and use their med cards there. Nice job Nevada.
The most forward thinking, best plan for interstate medical marijuana card usage is occuring, of all places, in Washington D.C. Yes, my friends you can use a medical marijuana card from every state in the land in Washington D.C. All of the medical dispensaries happily announce this to potential customers. If you happen to be in Washington D.C., legal medical cannabis cards are honored from all states.Thank you Washington D.C. for showing us, the good people of this country, how it should ideally work.
Now, why haven’t other states replicated Nevada and Washington D.C.’s initiatives to honor medical cannabis cards from other states? I ask, what possibly could be the benefit of allowing a medical patient no options once they cross certain state lines? Not only does it absolutely suck for the patient, it also does not make any sense from a money-making point of view. Visitors from other states should be allowed to purchase marijuana in medical dispensaries in states where medical is legal. It’s just that simple.
It’s time to start putting reciprocal agreements in place for states that are medical cannabis friendly. This system as it stands is not fair to the consumer nor is it fair to the dispensary owner and grower, who need to move product. More patients equals more product sales.