Many Medical Marijuana Patients on a Fixed Income Face Hardship
Elvy Musikka is a 73-year old grandmother who is a legal medical marijuana patient in Oregon. She is also one of the few surviving people still getting marijuana from the federal government under a 1978 program.
But the marijuana she gets from the feds is old and not very potent, so she mixes it with the three pounds of cannabis she gets from the state of Oregon. The problem is, the fees now charged by the state are getting to be too much for her budget to handle.
Last October, the state imposed new fees on medical marijuana card holders. The new fees doubled the annual cost of getting a medical marijuana card to $200. It also imposed grower fees of $50 and, if patients switch growers or change the address where it's grown, the state charges an additional $100.
"For them to come at us and ask for a hundred dollars from us, I find that very criminal," said Musikka.
She lives on a fixed income of $700 a month and said she she's now been forced to drop out of the program. And she said she's not alone, dozens of others have also been forced to drop out because of costs.
"I lost sight unnecessarily because of the change in those rules," she said.
She said without her Oregon medicine, her glaucoma has steadily gotten worse, resulting in two separate eye surgeries.
"It turned into two detached retinas, it turned into me being completely blind for a month."
Fees and taxes are always going to be a problem when it comes to legal marijuana, medical or otherwise. The natural instinct of government is to get as much money out of something as possible so they can proceed to waste a lot of it. It is up to advocates to fight back and keeps costs to patients as low as possible.
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