I have four children, ages 7 through 14. I have inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. I am considering a move from my non-legal state to Oregon. I’d like to have the option of trying cannabis without jail time. I also want my kids to grow up without a religious overtone during every waking hour. What do you think?
— Concerned Parent
Dear fellow parent,
You are not the first parent that has written to me, and I have a feeling you won’t be the last. Let’s take a look at your situation and see if we can figure out a way to start your new year off right, and hopefully pain-free.
As a parent, I understand all of the questions and concerns related to deciding to move your family. It’s not an easy ordeal! That said, your health is important, and if you aren’t well, you can’t take care of yourself or your family. Your kids need you at your healthiest and strongest and if that means living in a place where you can legally access medicine that makes you a better person and a better parent, then that is completely understandable.
Unfortunately, since you didn’t mention what state you’re currently in, I’m not sure if it’s one that might have medical cannabis coming in down the pipeline or not. However, as many of us who do live in medically legal states know, even though a state has approved medical cannabis, it can take years for it to actually become available! So, let’s take a look at Oregon and what it has to offer.
As somebody who has visited Oregon many times and has friends and family that live in Portland, I would say that it’s an excellent option for a family. I did not notice any particular religious overtone anywhere we visited from Portland to the coast. Although, I have heard that more rural areas can be a bit more conservative. However, if you stick to the cities, you’ll find they’re very liberal.
Oregon has legalized both medicinal and recreational cannabis, so you would have no trouble at all finding some. Plus, due to booming business, you’ll be able to enjoy things like cannabis-themed groupons to find awesome deals.
If you want to get a medical cannabis card, you’ll want to check out Oregon’s medical cannabis laws via the state site. It is $200 to apply for a card, but there are various reduced-fee options if you’re in need of financial assistance. You’ll have to fill out their registration and get a physician’s statement as well. Once approved, you’ll be all set to either grow or purchase cannabis for your conditions!
Just a note: While neither inflammatory bowel disease or rheumatoid arthritis appear under Oregon’s qualifying conditions list, they do fall under the part that reads, “A medical condition or treatment for a medical condition that produces one or more of the following: Severe pain, severe nausea.” And, as we know, cannabis has been shown to be very effective at treating both of your conditions.
Of course, you can just access recreational cannabis in Oregon, but there are some benefits for registering as a medical marijuana patient. You’ll be able to grow 24 plants (versus four for recreational users), have up to 24 oz. of cannabis on you in your home or car (versus 8 oz. in your home or 1 oz. in your car for recreational), and access medicinal strains that may not be available recreationally. Plus, medicinal cannabis is not taxed like recreational pot.
While housing prices have been increasing in Portland, in addition to all the cannabis you can dream of, the city offers access to tons of great food trucks and restaurants, naked bike rides (seriously), and one of the best and biggest independent bookstores in the nation.
Since cannabis is legal there recreationally, why not start by planning a trip out to Oregon to test the waters (and the marijuana!) and see how you all like it before uprooting? If anything, it will at least give you a chance to try out cannabis for your ailments and see how it goes.