How Does This Medical Marijuana Stuff Work?

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Last week, I had breakfast with one of my best friends. I had not seen or heard from her in about a month, so I was a bit concerned about her. She’s had health issues, so sometimes my friend alarm goes off, and until I see her, I cannot relax.

We met at our favorite diner, and as it turned out she did have a few tough weeks, but she was anxious to get caught up. As we downed muffins, bagels, and about eighteen cups of coffee each, we talked about husbands, kids, how the economy is murdering our small businesses, and the stresses that go along with that. Then, we somehow got onto the subject of medical marijuana. 

You would think that I would remember how we segued into this topic, but honestly, I cannot. I think we were talking about her love of wine, my love of Jack Daniels, and state politics, and somehow the conversation turned to the possibility that Pennsylvania, yes, the state that took ten years to ban smoking in restaurants, might legalize pot for medicinal purposes. Allow me to say that both me and my friend are all for it.

Okay, it’s time to fess up to some stuff. I would be eligible for this pot. I won’t go into why I would be eligible for it, because I have a theory: as long as I do not acknowledge the condition verbally or in written word, it cannot harm me. Has this worked? Pretty much, yes. There were a few tough years, but I am almost 100 percent, so no need to waste any “awws” or sympathy on me.

I also found that when I did write about it some years ago, people would send comments like, “I have it far worse than you.” Or, “You are so lucky that you do not have it like me.” To be honest, I was glad to award anyone the title of “I-have-it-worst.” It was and never will be a title I aspire to win or own.

I don’t mean to sound callous, but my family and I have just dealt with it with a strong sense of humor. We still laugh that I got expelled from a support group years ago because I did not adhere to its philosophy of acceptance. They wanted me to learn to deal with life as it could be, and I wanted information on getting rid of what I had. Apparently, I upset the apple cart with my “feisty” attitude, and I made the regular support-group attendees feel uncomfortable.

After my first meeting, a group vote was taken and the leader told me it was best if I found another group. I swear this is true. To this day, I giggle when I remember how that stupid woman told me that I didn’t fit in. It was freaking gym class all over again and not being picked for the good team in kickball. Anyway, after laughing so hard that I almost peed my pants, I went over to the nearest health club and signed up for exercise classes and swimming. I think I might have gotten the last laugh on that one.

Now, back to the pot. Honestly, my friend and I like the idea of smoking pot for our aches and pains (who wouldn’t?), but we have several questions on the whole medicinal marijuana thing. In what form does the pot come? Does it come as a powder so I can put it in brownies or sprinkle it on my salad? Do I have to grow it on my own or do I get prerolled doobies? I am hoping it is prepackaged pot because I am not a good plant person. I kill silk flowers, so, I don’t think my future health should depend on my horticultural skills—or rather—lack of them.

And if we do not have to grow our own pot, then who fills the prescription? Do I have to go on a street corner somewhere and announce my need for pot? Will these dealers honor my insurance co-pay? Do insurance companies have local dealers in some kind of (HMO) network? Do I have to pay more if I go out of network and opt to support the neighborhood purveyor of weed? Is there such thing as generic pot, and if there is generic pot, is it cheaper or less potent? If I am going to smoke dope, I want good stuff. What am I going to tell my parents? Can they still ground me? Do I have to carry my prescription around with me to show I am entitled in case I am pulled over by a cop? Can I smoke it at the next Tom Petty concert? Oh my God, my head was just reeling with marijuana questions!

Anyway, all this talk about medicinal pot took us back to our college days. Okay, my friend had more experience with pot than me, but she was at the tail end of the hippie generation as she likes to tell me often. When I was at college, I never really had to smoke pot because my next-door neighbor in my dorm used weed literally as an air freshener. He had something lit 24/7. My roommate and I would just walk out into the hallway and get high. Those four years were the most relaxing four years of my life.

So, do we have reservations on medicinal pot? No, I guess medicine is medicine. We are glad our children are grown so we do not have to deal with the whole “Just Say No” argument. I have to say that I am not sure if it will help with our various issues, but we are willing to be part of a trial group. We have no problem being the first to try it out. Yes, we are willing to be guinea pigs and sacrifice ourselves for others—especially those who like to tell us so often that they are “far worse off than us.”


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