CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - A U.S. Army veteran and his wife say they are moving from Clarksville to Pueblo, Colo., in order to obtain the marijuana that helps control the pain Max Bailey suffers from injuries acquired in Afghanistan.
Jen Bailey told The Leaf-Chronicle doctors want to put her husband on opiate pain killers, but he does not want to end up addicted to pills.
She said marijuana worked well for him until police raided their home on Feb. 25, confiscating 12 marijuana cigarettes and charging her with simple possession.
She said they expect to lose money when they sell what they say is their "dream home," but after the failure of Tennessee's Koozer-Kuhn Medical Cannabis Act, they feel their only choice is to leave.
"This is about getting my husband to some semblance of normal," she said. "This is about him being able to function without the headaches and the back pain that cause him to sleep on the bathroom floor when he's throwing up at night from the pain."
Max Bailey has an 80 percent disability rating from the Veterans Administration as a result of post-traumatic stress and physical injuries, including traumatic brain injury. He also gets full Social Security disability benefits.
Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2000 and legalized recreational use in 2012.
Jen Bailey said she had hopes that the Tennessee General Assembly would legalize medical marijuana this year.
"Well, in the last two weeks, medical marijuana legislation started stalling and failing all over the Bible Belt, so we made the decision. We're out of here."
On Saturday, Max Bailey stared out at the rain from his wheelchair on the porch. He told a reporter, "It's hard to leave. When I moved into this house, I planned on staying here the rest of my life. I love Tennessee to death, but it really is going to kill me if we stay."