Lawmakers a no-show to medical marijuana tour

SIDNEY, Mich.– State lawmakers are considering changes to Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act. The measures would not legalize marijuana, but would help caregivers take care of their patients. One man from West Michigan invited all 38 senators to his house to educate them on the positives that come with medical marijuana, and what it takes to make the grow operation work.

Dave Overholt held up a jar today filled with a green oil. He says thats the answer to all chronic pain patients problems. Overholt is the owner of Dave’ Alfalfa Farm Services.

“Until law enforcement and judges look at the oils and the marijuana correctly under the state guidelines, and look at this as serious medicine, we are going to be fighting this battle for a long time,” he said.

The battle he is talking about is to get law makers to look at marijuana without the stigma that it’s collected for decades.

“It’s 60 something years of people telling you it’s bad for you, and that it has nothing to help you, and no municipal values,” he said.

The bills that will go to the senate this month would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to set up shop in municipalities that would allow them with restrictions. The other bill would allow medical pot patients to use edibles.

“The senators know the urgency of this bill, they know it’s coming. From what I can tell from talking to them is they are uneducated on the subject of marijuana,” he said.

Out of the 38 senators invited to Saturday’s presentation, two confirmed they were coming, but not one showed up. Overholt says he wasn’t surprised.

“To bring out other growers and other people who do this is almost impossible they want to know me but they just don’t want to be seen with me,” he said.

Among those who did show up today were lawyers and business owners, and state representative Michael Callton.

“63% of people voted for Michigan Marijuana Act. I think an politician has to really listen to those numbers. Just from a political perspective if you’re looking to get elected or re-elected, if 63% of people want it, I want to hang out with 63 percent of people,” he said.

No senators in sight Saturday, but those who showed up didn’t want to be on camera including two people who work for the federal government, and a doctor who talked about the benefits of medical marijuana. They all declined to show their face on camera because of the stigma associated with marijuana.

“There are seizure patients out there that are on so many medications they actually can’t function, and by those patients using medical marijuana they are able to come back in a more fruitful life,” said the doctor.

The doctor who opted to remain unnamed was once a doctor for the military and has 25 years experience in the field, and when his patients need medical marijuana, he doesn’t want them to smoke it.

“I don’t want any of my patients smoking anything. What I am here to do is to help legislators understand how important it is to me as a practicing physician to allow my patients to have the non-smokeable forms of marijuana,” he said.

Susan Baxter is one of Dave’s first patients. She was prescribed pills for a pain condition she has, but they were becoming too dangerous.

“I was taking over double the amount of pain pills I was prescribed because it just wouldn’t help the pain. It was such a large amount I didn’t even know how I got to work sometimes,” she said.

Baxter never thought she would use marijuana to solve her pain problem, but she’s a firm believer now. She says her quality of life would have been significantly lower if not for marijuana.

“I am 51-years-old. I never did any drugs. I don’t even smoke cigarettes, but I tried it, and the pain just went away,” she said.

Overholt’s operation is carefully executed.

“It puts another perspective with what yo can do with a particular plant, and take it from let’s sit around a campfire and get high, or let’s use it to help people with cancer,” he said.

Overholt says he makes about $250,000 a year, but his costs to making and maintaining the medical marijuana is about $150,000.

His facilities are cleaned and ventilated properly, plants are monitored with time temperature and lighting machines, and fertilized and cared for daily.

“We are trying to take care of as many people as we can because there is nobody out there that has the ability to keep the medicine flowing for all their patients. That’s the whole thing here, without dispensaries and places for patients to go, it’s going to make it hard for patients to get what they need,” said Overholt.

Posted 11:33 PM, September 6, 2014, by cassyarsenault


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