Marijuana “Refugees” Seek Treatment in States where Cannabis is Legal

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
(photo: Ross D. Franklin, AP)

Refugees aren’t just found in the developing world or war-torn countries. They’re also found in the United States, where people are moving to states where they may legally buy marijuana for medical use.


Undergreen Railroad, which helps “marijuana refugees” with interstate moves to medical marijuana-friendly states, has assisted several families since last fall move to California and Oregon, which allow pot for medical reasons, and Colorado, which allows marijuana use for medical and recreational purposes.


Lindsey Rinehart, the group’s cofounder, told NBC News that Idaho, Tennessee and Wisconsin “are the states we get the most requests from, to leave.”


Realm of Caring Foundation, which produces “Charlotte’s Web,” a nonpsychoactive cannabis for pediatric epilepsy patients, says it knows of more than 100 families who moved to Colorado to access its type of medical marijuana—with another 200 families on a waiting list to relocate when supplies of the strain increase.


Diane Fornbacher, publisher of Ladybud Magazine, said she plans to move from New Jersey, which legalized medical marijuana, to Colorado because her current state won’t authorize the use of pot for her post-traumatic stress disorder.


Currently, 20 states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws allowing medical marijuana. Other states like Florida and New York may join the list this year. In addition to Colorado, Washington decriminalized recreational pot two years ago.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Marijuana Refugees: Virginia Family Moves to Colorado to Treat Epileptic Child with Cannabis Oil (Democracy Now!)

Marijuana Refugees: Looking for a New Homes in Pot-Legal States (by Kelli Grant, NBC News)


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