Medical Marijuana: Is it safe?

RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) — “It is nothing more than a pot candy shop out there that is available to anyone who wants it.” Jerry Mager and his wife, Illona, want to see stricter regulations of medical marijuana.

“Anybody who wants to get a card for any reason can obtain one,” Jerry said. “It’s not medication.”

The couple lost their son 20 years ago in a car crash. They say the driver was under the influence of marijuana. Since his death, they’ve become strong anti-marijuana advocates.

“We want to eliminate it from the state and we’re starting with the county,” he said. They have fought bills at the state legislature level before. Now, the Magers are lobbying for Washoe County dispensaries to be shut down.

Jerry and Illona think cannabis should be approved by the FDA before people can use it as a medication. “I think that this should go through the FDA,” retired nurse, Illona said. “There should be the required trials and extensive research that the FDA provides.”

Jerry said he believes the legalization of medical marijuana should be a federal issue. “The legislature has no right to declare anything a medication. That’s up to the FDA.”

Both believe Nevada’s current medical marijuana program is not safe. Jerry said it is no stricter than recreational legalization.

“What’s going on with medical marijuana is no regulation of that type at all,” he said. “You see the doctor once a year. You use as much as you want every day.” The Magers are concerned about a patient being able to control the amount of THC they consume. “There’s no dosage requirement.”

News 4 brought the Magers’ concerns to a marijuana dispensary manager.

“There’s a variety of strains that can benefit people for different needs,” Eva Losey-Grossman said. “You can ask us all about it. Just come in the store and the bud tenders are very knowledgeable.”

Losey-Grossman is the manager of Sierra Wellness Connection in Reno. She said the dispensary offers dozens of strains of cannabis, with different levels of THC.

“We are laboratory tested by an independent, state certified laboratory.” Losey-Grossman said the products sold at Sierra Wellness Connection are safe.

The executive director of the Nevada Medical Marijuana Association weighed in as well. “Our lab testing standards are the highest in the country,” Will Adler said. “You know you’re putting a safe product in your body. Not a mystery bag of green things you buy off the street.”

With further regulation after medical marijuana was legalized came new strains. Many of those strains are designed to specifically target certain ailments.

“Because of this, you can have a product that’s being developed and hybridized and created through studies,” Joetta Macillus said. Macillus is battling stage four breast cancer. She uses medical marijuana to cope with her pain. “So you’re getting not just something that’s growing on the side of the road basically. You’re getting a real medicine.”

In part three of this series, you’ll hear more of Joetta Macillus’s story. She claims marijuana has changed her life. You can watch part three on Wednesday, December 2 at 6 p.m.

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