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Medical Marijuana Already Here

Even with the strict laws we have in place against marijuana, statistics show the drug is freely available. The 2007 survey on drug use in Wyoming, published by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Applied Studies, showed that even five years ago, more than 13 percent of our citizens (more than 12 years old) had used marijuana in the past year. So the herb is out there.

For medical use, the demographic is different, and these folks are not likely to be nabbed by the cops. Medical marijuana comes into the state from neighboring states where weed is legal and transported in a “friend of a friend” fashion – tight networks of users who are serious about using marijuana for medical purposes. They aren’t out at parties getting high or selling the drug to others. It’s all a private affair. And those who find relief with marijuana are getting it.

A rare example of how it works appeared in an opinion piece a couple of months ago in Casper Star-Tribune. To make his point about “going legal,” one senior citizen who suffers from severe glaucoma mentions, ”He did not want to support drug cartels or smoke pot with pesticides or other potentially unsafe chemicals, so it reassured him to know his friend bought the marijuana legally in another state.”

The writer is unemployed and not subject to drug tests. His vision problems make it impossible for him to drive. The “medical” marijuana is consumed in the privacy of his own home and supplied by friends who buy it legally in another state. In short, this person is already using marijuana as if it were legal for medical purposes in Wyoming.

This isn’t to say if he was caught, he wouldn’t face criminal charges, he would. But it would be simple possession – there is no hidden marijuana farm or sales to minors going on.

The question now is whether we need to legalize weed for medical purposes and risk all the secondary market – those who play the system to get recreational marijuana under the guise of a bogus medical condition. If those who really need it are getting the drug, perhaps the status quo isn’t so bad.


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