Integrated Wisdom

The Plight of Medical Marijuana Caregivers

So, there shouldn’t be a problem, right? That’s far from the truth. Insurance won’t cover you, and the cost for treatment can be as high as $1,000 per month. Then there’s the federal government. Not only do they regard it as illegal, but they continue to classify it as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has no medical value and a high potential for abuse, just like heroin, cocaine, and meth.

Because the Feds don’t recognize marijuana’s medical benefits, they don’t trouble themselves with supporting institutions to do research. There have been no large scale clinical trials — most of the benefits linked to marijuana come from either anecdotal reports or small-scale studies. It’s a classic Catch-22 — they won’t support research because they don’t take marijuana seriously, but they won’t take it seriously until it’s supported by research. Just by reclassifying it as a Schedule 2 drug would solve this dilemma, but that may not happen any time soon.

The situation is even more ridiculous for those in the business of producing medical and recreational marijuana. They have to be cash only businesses, and banks are reluctant to hold the money for these companies because their income comes from breaking federal laws. They might even face problems if they try to file their income taxes — they can’t claim the income, again because it comes from illegal sources, and even if they could, they cannot take the typical corporate deductions for their expenses, and so could face income tax rates that are 90% or more. Basically, care-givers keep their money in a safe and must retain enough of it to finally make tax payments when it’s recognized as legal by the Feds somewhere down the road.

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