April 19, 2012

How Much Cannabis Does A Medical Marijuana Patient Consume?

April 19, 2012
marijuana opiates methadone withdrawal

Smoking marijuanaHow Much Medical Marijuana Do You Consume?

How much cannabis can one person consume in a year? It seems like a straight forward question. I’d imagine if you are a rookie smoking for the first time, you probably don’t consume much out of your metal pipe or ‘customized’ soda pop can. On the other hand, I’d assume a staff member at a medical marijuana clinic in California could probably eat enough cannabis brownies to sedate a large dinosaur. It’s a question worth considering, since it’s one of the first things a state has to consider when it’s starting a medical marijuana program.

Take for instance the State of New Jersey. Their medical marijuana program forbids cultivation in anyway, and you can possess up to two ounces of dried marijuana per month. This would be an example of a broken system. Why in the world would you limit a patient’s use of a harmless substance? What if a cancer patient is having a really hard week and they need more medicine? I can wrap my head around a two ounce limit at any given time, but not a cap for the month.

Compare that to Oregon, where the current legal limit per medical marijuana patient is 24 dried ounces, or 1.5 lbs. However, unlike New Jersey, that doesn’t mean a patient can only have that amount once per month; it means that is the limit at any given time. There are people that I have met at the clinic that are yielding 14-22 ounces per plant (Oregon law permits 6 mature plants per patient) every 10 week cycle. That works out to 436.8 — 686.4 dried ounces a year. THAT’S A LOT OF MEDICINE!

Should we conclude that patients in Oregon are suffering more than people in other states that have lower limits? It seems to me that medical marijuana is just as effective at treating conditions on this side of the state line as it does across the state line. Am I missing something here? A 24 ounce limit works just fine in Oregon, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work everywhere else. I think if someone looks at the facts for what they are, they will see that low possession limits for patients is nothing more than a way to curb a state’s medical marijuana program. I once read a NPR article about medical marijuana in Humboldt County, CA where medical marijuana limits were at the time the highest in the nation. To quote a medical patient from the article ‘”I grow as much as I can consume in a year,” he says smiling. “That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.” How much cannabis does a medical marijuana patient consume? As much as it takes to alleviate their suffering, not a gram more, not a gram less.

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