It’s a sad day when it takes a cancer patient suing the state of Michigan to draw attention to the dire situation of the state’s marijuana shortage.
Particularly when the whole situation could be easily avoided through the caregiver network.
But the state’s marijuana laws are constantly changing and have forged ahead of regulation.
And Sherry Hoover, a retired nurse from Rochester, has had enough.
Medical Marijuana Helps Hoover Fight
Hoover is mother, grandmother and medical marijuana card holder. She’s also a Stage 4 cancer patient. She suffers from a rare form of leukemia she’s been battling since 2011.
The cancer causes Hoover a lot of pain. In addition, she suffers severe nausea that comes from chemotherapy.
She relies on medical marijuana to address these symptoms so she can keep fighting. And it’s a far better alternative to the Norco and fentanyl she was given in the past.
But the latest law prohibits caregivers to sell to provisioning centers. And this has left a serious shortage of marijuana.
So lawyers, on behalf of Hoover, have filed a case in the U.S. Eastern District Court against the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
Putting the Needs of Medical Marijuana Patients Should Be Priority
When caregivers could no longer provide to dispensaries, Hoover and many other patients like her felt let down by LARA, the state and Governor Whitmer.
The press conference on Wednesday included banners calling on Whitmer to help Hoover. And though the governor is not named in the lawsuit, she DOES has the executive authority to override the state agency regulations in question.
She’s done so in the past.
According to Hoover’s lawyer in the case, the state has violated Hoover’s due process rights. Therefore, she is seeking a temporary restraining order on that resolution, as well as temporarily reintroducing caregiver marijuana back into the regulated market until the end of the year.
”We’re asking LARA to do what they ultimately did before,” she says. “To allow those caregivers to directly sell to those licensed dispensaries so these medical marijuana patients can get the products they need.”
Cancer Patient Suing over Inability to Get Specialized Products
While Hoover could turn to the illegal black market to get her marijuana, she and others like her rely on very specific products. In her case, it’s Rick Simpson Oil.
This product has enabled her to stay in the battle. It eases the pain and boosts her appetite so she is nourished enough to keep fighting.
But some provisioning centers are claiming that the licensed growers from whom they must source all of their inventory aren’t yet producing these sorts of specialized oils.
In fact, the manager of one such place said she recently found a single licensed supplier of Rick Simpson Oil. However, the product has spent several weeks undergoing lab testing so they can’t fill her order right now.
Meanwhile, Hoover worries about what will happen when her oil runs out because without it she has no appetite and, “my whole system feels like my bones are being twisted,” she said during a press conference on June 5th in Royal Oak.
She’s clearly not in the lawsuit for money. She simply hopes the lawsuit will get a federal judge to tell the state that it needs to allow patients like her access to medical marijuana by letting dispensaries sell untested cannabis.
As they’ve been doing for many many years now.
Hoover Is a True Hero
A cancer patient suing the state is a brave move. And certainly a necessary one. Which is unfortunate.
Though Hoover would probably disagree with the label of ‘hero.’
“I am just one person fighting for my rights, fighting for my life and a chance to see my grandchildren grow up,” Hoover said.
We sincerely hope those judges honor her fight.
There’s always something new with the cannabis industry in Michigan these days. So keep checking back with our blog to catch the latest.