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Medical marijuana: Law, dispensaries to be discussed for Mohave County
12/6/2012 6:00:00 AM
By Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Dolan Springs is one of six areas in Mohave County that will have a marijuana dispensary, which is good news to resident Perry Wickerd.
Wickerd has a medical marijuana card and uses the drug to help with nausea and pain from several back surgeries, an ulcer and cerebral palsy.
"About four or five years ago things got really, really bad," he said. Wickerd couldn't get out of bed in the morning without having to throw up. He couldn't keep any food or medication down, which only aggravated his pain. He lost between 20 and 30 pounds.
"I had to drop out of everything I was doing in the community," he said. "My doctor couldn't figure out what to do. There was nothing he could do except give me more medication."
In order to better inform people about the new law and how a dispensary will affect the community, Wickerd is holding a town hall meeting at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Castle Rock Ranch and Arena, at the corner of Pierce Ferry Road and 11th Street in Dolan Springs.
Jay Fleming from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition will speak and take questions afterward, Wickerd said. Admission is free and there will be a $5 pizza buffet.
The Arizona Department of Health Services approved 99 dispensary permits in August.
Six dispensary permits were approved for Mohave County, including one in the Kingman area.
No one's started the process to open a dispensary in Kingman, according to the health department.
Wickerd said his doctor suggested marijuana after the medical marijuana law passed.He has had his card for just over a year.
"It does help with the pain a little bit, but where it really helps is with the nausea," he said.
"You have no idea how horrible it is to lie in bed knowing that as soon as you pick your head up you're going to have to run to the bathroom. Sometimes things got so scary (with the throwing up) that I wasn't sure I could get my breath. It's the only thing that keeps me well."
Ten to 15 minutes after using the drug, Wickerd said he starts to feel hungry and can actually eat something and keep it down.
He's even been able to gain some of his weight back and has been active in the community again.
"I'm a 100 percent advocate for it where nausea is concerned," he said.
He would like to see the drug completely decriminalized so that people don't have to pay a fee to the Arizona Department of Health Services or a doctor to get a marijuana card or go to a dispensary.
Wickerd said he is not the person opening the dispensary in Dolan Springs and doesn't know who is, but he has heard from people involved with the LEAP organization that one may be moving into the area soon.
Jay Fleming from LEAP said he saw a number drawn for the Dolan Springs area by the Arizona Department of Health Services in August.
For more information, call Wickerd at (928) 530-4737.
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