Woman Reimbursed for Stolen Pot Plants

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Jul 25, 2003.

  1. By Rod Thompson
    Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin

    Hilo -- When Tammy VanBuskirk of Hilo discovered her four medical marijuana plants stolen in May, she did what most people would do in case of a theft: She reported the crime to police.
    Then she filed a claim with her homeowner's insurance company. VanBuskirk hasn't heard from the police since May. But about a week ago, she heard from the insurance company.

    American Reliable Insurance Co., of Scottsdale, Ariz. sent her a check for $2,040.31. The paperwork with the check noted, "Pot plants policy limit $500 per plant."

    The extra $40.31 was for miscellaneous expenses, VanBuskirk said.

    The biggest plant was 7 feet high and 8 feet wide, she said. She didn't intend to grow a whopper when she planted it in her garden.

    "It just kept getting bigger every day," she said.

    VanBuskirk, 57, said two male suspects came over the wall at the back of her yard one afternoon and swiped some of the plants while being watched by the 7-year-old son of VanBuskirk's gardener.

    They came back the same evening and swiped the rest.

    "I felt, and I still do feel, so violated. I don't feel safe anymore," she said.

    VanBuskirk said that she enjoys her marijuana medicine, which is legal with a state medical marijuana card, but it's not as if she wants to be a pothead.

    "I'm not a person who was ever into drugs or alcohol," she said. "I'm a reverend. I marry people."

    Living on Whidby Island in Washington in the mid-1990s, she was diagnosed first with diabetes, then with glaucoma, a disease in which pressure builds inside the eyes, killing nerve cells and causing blindness.

    Although doctors warn that glaucoma does not usually cause pain as a warning signal, VanBuskirk says the disease is painful to her.

    "Glaucoma does cause pain. Anything that's killing nerve endings in your body has to be uncomfortable," she said.

    Her daughter, on the board of the Washington State Hemp Initiative, recommended marijuana to her.

    VanBuskirk also takes standard prescription medicines twice a day.

    After a year of using marijuana in Washington, her doctor told her there was no further deterioration of her vision. He said he did not know if the marijuana was really helping her or if she just thought it was helping.

    When VanBuskirk moved to Hilo four years ago, she did not tell her new doctor that she was using marijuana.

    VanBuskirk has been advised to take marijuana every two hours. She smokes it in a tiny pipe.

    The instructions on her marijuana from the Green Cross Patient Co-op in Washington say, "Cannabis. Do not drive or operate machinery while using this medication."

    "We know that it can impair you a little like any medicine that relieves pain," she said. "I control it. It doesn't control me."

    Note: A Hilo resident using medical marijuana filed an insurance claim after a theft.

    Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI)
    Author: Rod Thompson
    Published: Friday, July 25, 2003
    Copyright: 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin
    Contact: letters@starbulletin.com
    Website: http://www.starbulletin.com/

    Related Articles & Web Site:

    Green Cross Patient Co-op
  2. LMFAO! Awesome!
  3. I'm personally surprised ,impressed and a bit over joyed to read this.
    Unfortunately where I live ,marijuana is not recognized as a medicine ,therefore neither my chronic back pain nor my borderline glaucoma are treatable with it ,unless I do as I have always done ,(and will continue to do in the future) , Buying whatever I can where ever I can ,illegally.

    Sad but true is the fact that this poor lady "could and may" still be arrested on "federal" charges .

    Marijuana is still misclassified as a schedule 1 drug ,and is still illegal to posess ,consume ,and especially grow ,based on archaic federal statutes.

    My hat is off to that insurance company ,the lady who stood her ground (regardless of how shaky that ground may be)

    and of coarse to the poster ...................;)

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