What would you do if you had to watch your child suffer through dozens of seizures a day? If you are like most parents, your answer is “anything I can do to help them.”
That’s how Forrest Hurd feels. Forrest and his son Silas live in Nevada County, California. Like many parents in his situation, Forrest has discovered that cannabis oil rich in the cannabinoid CBD does a lot to reduce his son’s seizures.
“Before we found the strain, we didn’t think Silas was going to make it through the year,” Forrest says. “He was having 50 seizures a day, and nothing was helping.”
So what does a benevolent government do in this situation? If you answered “tell Forrest Hurd to f@*k off,” then you are correct; step up and collect your prize.
You see, Nevada County has banned outdoor growing, greatly reducing access to the supply of cannabis oil Silas needs. Indoor growing is still allowed, but it can be prohibitively expensive to get the equipment to grow high quality medicine.
Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal says there has been an uptick as of late when it comes to “complaints” about outdoor grows and that it’s not really about medicine anyway, but about money for the growers.
I’m not sure Sheriffs are the best people to gauge what is medicine and what is not, but let us take aim at the heart of his problem with marijuana growing: the smell and the chemicals used in “production.”
Cannabis plants do have a distinct odor and although the smell won’t kill anyone, some people simply don’t like having their olfactory sense tested in such a way. Of course, the smell of Asian cuisine makes me want to projectile vomit, but I doubt I can get the local Chinese food places in my town shut down with such specious reasoning.
What about the chemicals? While it’s true that outdoor growers often have a need to use pesticides to control pests, this can be said of many crops. In any case, full legalization will allow the free market to take care of these problems. People with a profit motive and a reason to make the neighbors happy would have every reason to grow in a safe and secure location, taking precautions about how much “damage” they do to the land.
I suspect, however, that these complaints aren’t directed at legal growers. California has long had a problem with illegal, cartel-affiliated, growers sneaking onto public lands and growing marijuana. They strip the land, let all kinds of waste and chemicals ooze into the soil and waterways, then harvest the crop and are gone. The power of legalization to undercut the profits of the black market is the obvious solution to this problem. Besides, do illegal growers really care about the county banning outdoor cannabis growing?
Prohibition doesn’t work and only hurts law-abiding people while enriching criminals. Children like Silas Hurd are hurt. Parents like Forrest Hurd are hurt.
When do we stop the hurt and let the healing begin?