Why taxing medical marijuana is going to do more harm than good!
Medical marijuana has been in Washington for a while now and just recently they legalized recreational use. We medical users new that we’d be over looked when they started changing the laws around our medicine.
Science has proven that marijuana fights cancer, does this not get it classified as medicine? Even the United States government has come out and said marijuana attacks cancer cells. Yet we are now paying for recreational use to treat our pain, depression, anxiety.
Before the 37% tax a good gram cost $10, a gram is like two pills from your pharmacy. This varies from person to person but most medical users go through about 4 grams a week. That’s $160 a month. Let’s go ahead and add that tax on, wow !
We’re looking at a grand total of $219 for a months’ worth of medicine. This my friends is going to harm a lot of low income patients who rely on medical marijuana to help with issues their state provided insurance won’t cover.
Let’s talk about the reason they taxed medical marijuana, biggest reason was to address the black market concern. By taxing the medical grade pot the state ensures that people trying to avoid paying recreational prices will still get taxed for having fun.
Sadly this affects the true users of medical marijuana, instead of adding a tax what needs to be done is stricter control over handing out medical cards. Either that or tax the cards themselves, I rather pay a yearly fee of $250 or so to keep my ten dollar gram.
Why am I fighting for the removal of this tax? In 1990 I was diagnosed with cancer of the eyes, by age two I was completely blind. The radiation they used to fight the cancer caused second generation tumors when I was six.
In 1996 I was diagnosed with a tumor that was eating its way through my skull and was at the same time working its way into my brain. After six months of chemo I underwent a ten hour surgery to remove the large mass. The surgeons had to completely tear my skull apart and put it back together using screws, plates and wires, which causes chronic pain and headaches. I dealt with these pains with pain pills and options that really failed to help long term.
I recovered from the surgery and didn’t have to face tumors until I was twelve. In total I have had 5 tumors removed between the time I was 6 until I was 18. At age 14 I was diagnosed with a tumor wrapped around my third trigeminal nerve causing trigeminal neuralgia, a nerve condition that causes chronic pain along the face and forehead.
Imagine a hot wire being pressed against your face, it never goes away and pain pills hardly are able to drop the level of pain. Along with very painful parts of my face and forehead there are numb spots as well and they will stay that way.
Because of all the pain pills I’ve had to take I now have neuropathy in my right hand which adds more chronic pain. I can’t hold anything hot or cold without it feeling like my hand is covered in acid. I also struggle to play piano and guitar because my hand has lost a large amount of strength. My insurance won’t cover the treatments to help my hand!
Let’s recap, trigeminal neuralgia, chronic pain from multiple surgeries and neuropathy in my right hand caused by opiates equals a vast amount of pain. Most of which isn’t being controlled by pills like methadone aka synthetic heroin, morphine, OxyContin and Percocet.
So what works? Turns out using marijuana as a teen showed me the right way to handle my pain control, I moved to Washington and got my medical card. Ever since than my quality of life has improved, I’ve cut my opiate intake by half and I’m able to play guitar and piano without having to stop every two minutes.
This tax is forcing me to go back on opiates because they’re the cheaper option even though they hardly work. For every pill I take I risk the shutdown of my kidneys and liver and my stomach. Opiates are rough on the teeth as well and I’ve already had 4 or five pulled in the last 3 years. I fear that I’ll be facing depression and chronic pain that will make me unable to function normally.
I ask you does this sound like a fun existence? It’s not and I’m really not sure what’s going to happen in the next few months without proper pain control. I also ask you this, should someone who doesn’t use medical marijuana be able to make big decisions like taxes without knowing the true effects?
Writer, Musician, advocate for Cannabis and owner of Z&Z Errands.com