THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENT
As of 2016, 1.2 million people in the United States use medical marijuana.
In 2011, 24.8 million potential patients were eligible for medical marijuana under current laws throughout the United States.
Since 2014, 34 states plus the District of Columbia have adopted laws permitting some form of marijuana consumption or distribution for medical use. California has experienced the most activity.
There are numerous ways to measure ailments, and there are numerous ways of measuring results, each of which are not always apparent to the physician or the patient. Many times patients “learn to deal with” their pain in a way that becomes consistent with their daily routine. This is so commonplace, in fact many individuals with chronic ailments forget what life was like for them before the onset of their condition. We are unable to measure this loss of human capital and energy because we have no frame of reference for how different it could be.
When we look at this snapshot of patients, ailments, and medical marijuana, it becomes easier to address the concerns we have within our own State, desiring to find local statistics that would somehow help us to understand the ailments that affect our communities. They don’t just affect the individual. They affect us all.
What does it mean to live with an ailment? What kind of choices are individuals forced to make when chronic pain becomes debilitating, and they are no longer able to live productive lives within their own communities? When faced with such a problem and no known solution, the future for these individuals looks nothing short of grim. But when those same individuals – some of them parents, some of them children, some of them co-workers – when these individuals are given a solution to the hurdles that they must overcome every day – the future begins to look brighter for us all.
The active registry of medical marijuana patient cards in Nevada is doubling annually. There are people out there who are asking for help. Different patients use medical marijuana for different reasons, but there is a common thread among them all – they recognize their own human capital, and its suppression within the body that houses their ailment. They want help, they want out, and they want a way to a better future without the side effects of prescription drugs, and without the threat of punishment for using medical marijuana. This is where our “why” begins.