Marijuana Cultivation Ban Frustrates Sisters of the Valley and Those Who Rely on Medical Marijuana


Sister Darcey and Sister Kate are referred to as the “Sisters of the Valley.” These two self-proclaimed nuns have been growing marijuana and selling products made from cannabinoids (CBDs) in California for approximately a year. However, their city council recently placed a ban on marijuana cultivation and dispensaries. Sister Kate has called for the city to embrace, regulate and tax marijuana instead.

Although the sisters are not Catholic or members of any religious order, Darcey and Kate proclaim that they are on a spiritual quest to heal the sick using the small crop of marijuana they grow in the garage of their home in Merced. The sisters state that their products contain very little tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), if any. THC is the substance responsible for creating the high experienced by individuals who use marijuana for recreational purposes. According to Sister Kate, they use CBDs to make an oil that prevents seizures, along with a multi-purpose salve that cures earaches, toothaches, diaper rashes, migraines and hangovers.

As of March 8, 2016, the county of Merced allows homeowners to grow 12 plants on a single parcel. However, the city of Merced itself has banned the cultivation of marijuana altogether. On March 14, 2016, the attempted robbery of a house led to the death of a 29-year-old Merced man who was allegedly trying to break in with several accomplices. The homeowner and the other alleged robber were injured. Furthermore, a number of men fled the scene.

The home in question was recently investigated to determine whether or not the homeowners were running a marijuana dispensary. It is believed that would-be robbers intended to steal the marijuana. Whether these individuals wanted the marijuana for medicinal purposes is unknown, though. Almost immediately following this incident, the council requested that the city staff draw up an ordinance that would permit marijuana dispensaries.

For Some, Medical Marijuana Replaces Other Treatment Methods

According to Mark Hadfield, who is the co-founder and CEO of the digital healthcare platform HelloMD, the evidence that marijuana helps alleviate a wide range of conditions affecting millions of Americans is overwhelming. HelloMD created a report outlining the use, preferences and perspectives of cannabis by patients in California.

More than 1,400 of the patients who use medicinal marijuana to relieve symptoms associated with anxiety, pain, depression, insomnia and stress were surveyed. The results indicate that 66 percent of the respondents use marijuana as the primary treatment for their condition. It is also noteworthy that the states that have legalized medical marijuana have also experienced a 25 percent drop in painkiller related deaths.

Medicinal Cannabis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The first state to list PTSD as a condition that may benefit from the use of medical cannabis was New Mexico. Although there had previously been no conclusive studies published detailing the effectiveness of medical cannabis on PTSD symptoms, George R. Greer, MD, Adam L. Halberstadt, PhD and Charles S. Grob, MD, analyzed psychiatric evaluations of several patients who applied to participate in the New Mexico Cannabis Program from 2009 to 2011. The intention of this study was to statistically analyze the psychometric data on PTSD symptoms. The researchers found that cannabis does reduce the symptoms of PTSD in some patients, and these results were published in the January-March 2014 edition of the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.

Understanding PTSD

PTSD is a psychological condition caused by a severe or prolonged period of stress. For example, veterans who are, or were, actively involved in a war frequently suffer from this anxiety disorder. According to CBS News, the number of veterans using marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of PTSD is on the rise. Other causes of PTSD include emotional, physical or sexual violence (e.g., domestic violence).

Currently, there are 23 states throughout the nation that have already legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. Unfortunately, even if a state legalizes the use of medicinal marijuana, regulations related to the cultivation of the plant may be put into place by the counties or cities within it. While these regulations are a hassle for the grower, the individuals who rely on the marijuana to relieve their symptoms are ultimately the ones who suffer the most.

About the Author

Jade Rich is a Director at a Skilled Nursing Facility and Inpatient Rehabilitation Center. She enjoys researching everything related to the medical field, and she found a great deal of relevant information for this article via the for-profit website Jade is well-aware that some patients prefer to use medical marijuana for the management of pain and certain medical conditions, but she is committed to adhering strictly to local and state laws to ensure everyone’s safety.














Jade Rich