Broad legalization cuts into medical marijuana

In this April 25, 2019, photo, two-time cancer survivor and medical marijuana cardholder Bill Blazina, 73, smokes a marijuana joint on the deck of his neighbor’s home in Waldport, Ore. Blazina also uses a high-potency marijuana oil as a medical marijuana patient but he can’t afford it at a recreational marijuana store. Blazina has learned how to make his own oil in a rice cooker after watching online videos. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

When states legalize pot for all adults, long-standing medical marijuana programs take a big hit, in some cases losing more than half their registered patients in just a few years, according to a data analysis by The Associated Press.

Much of the decline comes from consumers who, ill or not, got medical cards in their states because it was the only way to buy marijuana legally and then discarded them when broader legalization arrived. But for people who truly rely on marijuana to control ailments such as nausea or cancer pain…

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