Grandma's Gone Green: One Woman's Story On Pot

May 25, 2017

Diane watering plants in her greenhouse.

For some medical marijuana cardholders in Nevada, it’s legal to grow their own cannabis. For example, it’s permitted if the strain a patient needs isn’t available or if they live 25 miles or more from a dispensary. One northern Nevada resident takes Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray on a tour of her greenhouse.

To protect her privacy, Diane asked us to use only her first name. On a spring day, as she’s watering her flowers among her scampering goats and chickens, she shares this story.

Diane explains that she started to use medical marijuana to treat chronic pain and has found that pot works better for her than prescription painkillers.

“So I’m a convert, I’m an absolute convert, there’s just nothing else that works for me like this, where I can use it at night—just sleep—get up in the morning and just function like a human being,” Diane explains.

Back in 2000, voters passed a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in the Silver State. But it took another 15 years before dispensaries opened in northern Nevada. So some registered cardholders started to cultivate their own.

As a horticulturist, Diane already had a greenhouse and skills which helped her get started with growing her own. “And so I made the effort to get my medical marijuana card in the state of Nevada and having the greenhouse, I grew my first batch,” Diane says.

Even though Nevada has legalized medical marijuana and more recently recreational use as well, Diane says she’s worried that it is still considered a federally illegal controlled substance.

“I’ve never been arrested for anything,” Diane says. “So it worries me to death, to think that one day someone’s going to knock on my door and arrest this grandmother of four and take her to jail because she just wanted to sleep at night.”

Currently, there are nearly twenty-eight thousand Nevadans registered in the state’s medical marijuana program with about thirty-five hundred identified as home growers. Recreational marijuana sales will be set to begin in July.