Colorado Medical Marijuana

Recently Colorado has been referred to as Pot Capital U.S.A. and this is because it has more medical marijuana dispensaries per capita than the other two states which have them, California and Oregon.   (A total of 13 states currently have state laws permitting medical marijuana however.)   The boom in the medical marijuana industry can be directly connected to Pres. Obama’s Justice Department publicly stating they will respect state’s rights in regards to medical marijuana and will not seek to prosecute anyone involved in the legal distribution or consumption of medical marijuana.

What this means for me, a medical marijuana user, is that I can go to any one of the over 300 dispensaries in Colorado and purchase the highest grade marijuana and marijuana byproducts (hash, edibles, tinctures etc.).  In fact, I’m paying taxes on it.

Medical marijuana was approved by Colorado voters in 2000 with an amendment to the state’s constitution.  From that time until I received my medical marijuana card in August of last year roughly 9,000 cards had been issued.  As of last night’s news broadcast 60,000 cards have been issued.

Are people gaming the system?  In many ways yes.  The staggering amount of cards have been issued to males under 30, with the majority of that to males under 25.  Law dictates a handful of conditions in which medical marijuana can be recommended.  While most of them are for serious or terminal illnesses, one sympton has caused this boom:  severe pain.

I didn’t know about that when I went to get my card.  I simply called a dispensary that has a doctor who will provide the recoomendation provided I provide medical records.  I take sleeping and general well being meds so I figured with that on my record, why can’t I simply switch to a natural alternative?

The doctor I saw, Dr. Weiss, a stereotypical Jew from Brooklyn, told me the deal.   You need certain conditions.  He said, “I’m not only playing the role of doctor right now, I’m also playing the role of judge.”  So I said, well how about the migraines it has on my record that I’ve suffered since a child?  That green lighted me into getting my recommendation, even though if I had a migraine the last thing I would do is smoke pot.  I ask him, “by the way, what kind of doctor are you?”

“I’m a psychiatrist.”

On the way out he says, listen if you ever want a new doctor to go to for any sort of issues, here’s my card.  My response:  “So you’re not only a doctor and judge, you’re also a salesman too?”

But after that visit I walked out of the dispensary with weed and hash and even vaporized some before I left right at the dispensary.   It’s like Amsterdam in the U.S.

Right now here in Colorado this issue seems to be in the news everyday.  Lawmakers are trying to grapple with how to regulate such a booming industry.  Additionally spikes of crime have been reported in and around areas of marijuana dispensaries.

In my opinion there are some people who should be genuinely upset and they are those voters who thought they were voting to give the OK for someone with Cancer, AIDS or in hospice, not an 18 year old kid with a bullshit condition who wants to get high.  I imagine it was hard at the time to envision what is going on now because of Bush being president, but really this is new to everybody.

The next step is full legalization and it’s not a matter of if but when.  Last night on the news a marijuana activist showed a medical card during prohibition which allowed one to legally obtain alcohol.  After all of the taxes are realized, states like CO and CA are going to be at the forefront of the complete legalization of marijuana.  Cali is practically bankrupt and may have to do it out of sheer economic necessity.

So while the state and medical marijuana propietors decide on the future, I can legally possess anywhere in the state 2 oz. of pot and 6 plants of marijuana (though only 3 can be in the mature (budding) stage).

I’m not complaining.

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