Starting this weekend, patients and businesses can begin applying for licenses to take or sell medical marijuana.
Wednesday, lawmakers met to continue hammering out the law that will regulate the industry. Until lawmakers take action, the industry will be working under those emergency rules the Board of Health passed.
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The group of lawmakers have been meeting every Wednesday and for the first time took public comment on what those laws should look like. Many speakers were advocating on behalf of veterans.
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“I’m shaking here, I’m in great pain. I have anxiety, bi-polar disorder,” Gordon Flick, a Vietnam Veteran, told lawmakers.
Flick says he’s 100 percent service connected disabled, but none of his providers at the VA will write him a recommendation for a medical marijuana license. A doctor that would, will cost him $300. So, he’s asking the committee to modify the law to allow for free or extremely low-cost access to medical marijuana to veterans.
“I think that you should give me the free weed card the same way I get a free disability placard,” said Flick.
Ray Jennings, also a veteran, stood in front of the group.
“How many in this room is a stage four cancer survivor?” asked Jennings.
No one else raised their hand.
“That’s what I thought,” said Jennings. He credits medical marijuana for saving his life.
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Jennings spoke to lawmakers on behalf of a non-profit who is working on building a grow house to provide free medical marijuana for veterans. He also wants to make sure veterans have free access to doctors who will write them a recommendation. He wants to make sure the law allows for that.
For veterans in nursing homes, Ron Marlett, a social worker, asked lawmakers to make sure that nursing homes allow patients access.
“We know that we have to do something to help our veterans, we owe them that,” said Marlett.
Speakers from the public also talked about limits on dispensaries, and access for everyone.
Before the public comment session, two doctors addressed the committee. Both expressed concerns about medical marijuana, including potential side effects and societal problems.