Marijuana Legalization: Man Grows Weed in Yard to Help Ailing Wife

It’s always the same eternal question — how far can you go to save the life of a loved one? Many-a-crimes have been committed to protect to uphold love. Recently a man committed a rare crime in South Carolina, one to keep his wife hale and hearty. Frank Dennis Peters from Bluffton grew 137 marijuana plants in his yard, and was using them for medicinal assistance for his wife who has been on several medications owing to her frail health. Peters says his wife of 40 years sleeps and eats better due to the help of the herb.

Now the uncomfortable questions looms on the heads of those in the law enforcement and fellow citizens: Should Peters be sentenced for the crime he committed? Should this even be referred as a crime in the first place? South Carolina, like many states in America has legalized medical marijuana and if sought for the same purpose, can be procured from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environment Control. Technically, if we look from just a humanistic vantage point its natural that the man should not be penalized for what he did. Even though, drug production and possession could lead to a very long jail sentence. The fact that Peters’ neighbours knew of him growing the drug but not calling the authorities is something which attaches to the bittersweet decision which Peters took. It was one of the guests at the neighbour’s party who alerted authorities about the marijuana growing.

The man is 66-years old, the only caretaker for his wife and only used the drug strictly for medicinal purposes. He wasn’t a notorious drug peddler who was making dollars out of it. The question is also, if he should even be prosecuted to begin with? Clearly, a stringent punishment in this scenario will be uncalled for. He could have been unbeknownst to DHEC’s availability as a resource for medical marijuana. However, there is a caveat — due to a failed attempt at completely legalizing medical cannabis the DHEC hasn’t ever sold any.

But what is the precedence that would be set here? Do we take into account the very simple matter of a man trying to save his wife exclusive of any collateral damage? Or do we understand the ramifications of this incident as a federal offence and accordingly expect the deliverance of justice. In any event, the debate here isn’t about legalization of medical marijuana but about accessibility. It’s this seesaw of obtainability which then brings in the questions of usage, and if that induces people to take drastic steps. In order to avert such cases from happening in future, the one solution can be to make adequate reforms encouraging public health departments to do these transactions, if indeed medical marijuana is legalized in the respective states. 

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Shiralie Chaturvedi

Enthusiastic, compulsively passionate and opinionated about world politics. Currently pursuing MA in Media Studies from The New School. I sometimes rant on about fashion too!

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