Uncertain future for medical marijuana in North Dakota

WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) Voters have spoken, but are your elected officials listening?

Medical marijuana was approved by voters in North Dakota, but now squabbling in Bismarck has put the muddied the future for medicinal pot.

And for some, it’s not a matter of wanting the drug it’s a matter of need.

Becky Muhs-Rettig of West Fargo has her hands full, but her lively three pups are the least of worries.

“Besides having three forms of cancer and leukemia and I’m on no big pharma medication. Not one.” Said Muhs-Rettig.

She keeps a handwritten note in her wallet to defend for taking oil.

Her medicine cabinet looks more like a spice cupboard.

She’s been self-medicating with cannabis since 2015. Sometimes illegally bringing cannabis from other states where she can legally obtain it.

“I have the risk of going to jail, for bringing back medication I’ve been using everyday, under a physicians care.” Said Muhs-Rettig.

A risk she thought she wouldn’t have to be taking in North Dakota right now.

She says, “I should be able to have legal access to medication right now.”

In Bismarck the medical marijuana bill has been delayed, altered, altered again and now could be sent to committee to forego more changes. Although the house has loosened many restrictions the senate had suggested, the future still isn’t clear.

Muhs-Rettig wants Bismarck to get things done, because she says time isn’t something everybody has.

She says, “..My mother’s mom, Louis, ..I asked what is she getting sicker from. She should be fine, because she’s not doing anything. Well, to find out she actually started chemotherapy and she didn’t even make through one round. She died the day after my brother called me to come and see her.”

A life or death issue, likely heading to committee before voters get what they asked for.

Currently, the medical marijuana bill underwent some changes. The house of reps lowered the annual fee from 200 to 50.

They also broadened the definition of what a physician is and who can certify people to receive medical marijuana. They made easier for children’s parents to get their kids prescribed medical cannabis.

But, costs to growers and dispensaries are still high. Medical marijuana proponents fear that cost will be passed down to patients.

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