Kick it!

You want to be healthy, man you need your FECO

You ask the state, please, but the state says no …

It’s looking like we’ve got more fighting for our rights to do as patients here in Maine. So far this legislative session, we’ve been up in arms about proposals to restrict our rights to carry our medicine in the car and our rights to smoke our medicine on our own private property.

Now, we need to rally again because LD 2099 (click here to read) proposes to define the alcohol we use to process our plants into Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO) as an “inherently hazardous substance.” This “Act to Amend Provisions of the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act” is sponsored by Sen. Geoff Gratwick, co-chair of the Health and Human Services committee.

Denny and I have posted about making FECO, a multi-purpose concentrate that can be used to make things like edibles, tinctures, and topicals. For patients like us, FECO is a critical part of our regimen, and by making our own, we are able to maintain our health in a way we simply couldn’t afford to if we had to purchase all the things for which we use FECO.

Denny uses an essential oil extractor to make FECO. In this step the food-grade alcohol used to extract the medicine is being removed from the FECO that remains in the machine.

Even if we didn’t grow our own, here in Maine we have access to affordable FECO from caregivers  – that is, unless LD 2099 passes. This proposal would create a separate license for processing cannabis that would be too costly for many small operations to get. In other words, this bill seeks to make this form of medicine something that only the affluent will be able to afford.

I guess us poor people can go back to all the pills we can get at low cost or free through government programs. Not.

Besides being elitist, this provision is unnecessary and, frankly, unpoliceable. As stakeholders testified recently when the issue came up for adult use regulations, there are no known incidents involving such processing in Maine. Further, the process used to make FECO has been used with plants for centuries, and I’m not entirely sure how law enforcement expects to know if I am continuing this longstanding tradition in the privacy of my own home.

Which I will, even if LD 2099 passes. It’s not like I didn’t medicate illegally for decades prior to having a medical card. Granted, I’ve enjoyed feeling like a law-abiding citizen while maintaining my health and would prefer that things like LD 2099 never hit the books. However, the ‘maintaining my health’ part is far more important to me than the ‘law-abiding citizen’ part when it comes to cannabis.

10 mg per milliliter cannabis oil tincture made from a gram of purchased FECO. Buying FECO to make your own tincture can make daily tincture taking more affordable.

The Health and Human Services committee will be holding a public hearing on LD 2099 this Wednesday, February 26 at 9:00 in the Cross Building, Room 209. If you’re unable to attend in person, written testimony can be sent via email to:  HHS@legislature.maine.gov. If you’re thinking your testimony pertaining to this issue for adult recreational use is enough, think again. That bill was heard by the Veterans and Legal Affairs committee, and this bill is being heard by Health and Human Services; there is NO membership overlap.

You might have guessed from the intro that I used to be the loud party girl with my Beastie Boys “Licensed to Ill” cassette on repeat play in the boombox. I can certainly attest to how alcohol, when consumed daily in large amounts, is an inherently dangerous substance. Times have changed. Now I’m a middle-aged woman in recovery who processes cannabis with alcohol to help maintain that recovery, which just doesn’t seem as dangerous. Now I find myself thinking:  we’ve got to fight … for our right … to med-i-caaate!