BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A big step forward for medical marijuana in Maryland — the state officially opened its online registry, meaning patients can soon get legal access to cannabis.
WJZ’s Rick Ritter reports these patients are suffering from a wide range of issues, from cancer to spinal injuries to anxiety. Problems they say have hindered their quality of life. But now they have hope.
The stories are heartbreaking.
“I have a spinal cord injury, I was in a car accident in 2008,” says Josh Boyd, of Frederick County.
He and people like him across Maryland struggle just to get out of bed in the morning.
“I can’t be in bed for three days out of the week,” says Ann Bozick, also of Frederick County.
Now they have a sense of relief they’ve been waiting on for years — an opportunity to turn to marijuana, legally.
“It can totally change their life drastically,” says Michel La Docier, the CEO of Green Health Docs, a evaluation clinic in Frederick that provides medical marijuana evaluations for patients looking to qualify for the Maryland Medical Cannabis Program.
On Monday, the state opened its registry, so the first round of patients can apply. If approved, they meet with their doctor in person to get a written certification.
“Every single patient we see here is sick, they’re either on opioids or psych meds,” La Docier says.
Doctor Evan Edwards says they’re dealing with patients suffering from debilitating or chronic conditions, who need medical marijuana.
“There’s conclusive evidence it helps chronic pain, evidence that it helps with cancer patients and nausea… The opioids are kind of just a Band-Aid, they might help you with pain but they also knock you out, really hurt your function and quality of life.”
“The main reason I use medical marijuana is neuropathy, nerve pain,” Boyd says. Still, he suffers on a daily basis.
“It’s a struggle every day to get medicines I need to cure nerve pain.”
But now he has new hope that brighter days are ahead.
“These people’s lives are being changed right before our eyes.”
Once patients get approval online and a written certification, they’ll be able to get marijuana through dispensaries throughout the state, which are expected to open sometime this summer.
To visit the Maryland Medical Cannabis Program website, CLICK HERE.
Patients and caregivers will be able to register based on the first letter of their last name. Those with last names that begin with A through L are already eligible to register. Patients with last names M through Z can register beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, April 17. Registration is open to all on Monday, April 24.