Before I provoke the rage of my pot-advocate readers: I am not endorsing re-criminalization. Instead, I think it is fascinating that voters in the state were so incensed over gay people marrying each other that they rushed to amend the state constitution to deny equal protection. At the same time, voters have shaped California law to defy national "morality" over the issue of drugs and criminality. Am I wrong -- or is that an interesting contrast?
With little notice and even less controversy, marijuana is now available as a medical treatment in California to almost anyone who tells a willing physician he would feel better if he smoked.
Pot is now retailed over the counter in hundreds of storefronts across Los Angeles and is credited with reviving a section of downtown Oakland, where an entrepreneur sells out classes offering "quality training for the cannabis industry. . . ."
It really is that easy, the barker explains. Before being allowed to enter the upstairs dispensary and "smoking lounge," new customers are directed first to the physician's waiting room, presided over by two young women in low-cut tops. After proving state residence and minimum age (21), customers see a doctor in a white lab coat who for $150 produces a "physician's recommendation."
Valid for one year, it is all that California law requires to purchase and smoke eight ounces legally.
"I told him I had problems with my knee," said Joe Rizzo, 31, emerging from an examination recently with a knowing grin and a renewed card.
Outside the Blue Sky Coffee Shop in Oakland, Ritz Gayo clutched an eighth of Blue Dream ($44) and tried to remember the nature of his complaint.
"Um, my back," said Gayo, 20. He went on to recite a partial list of symptoms suggested in newspaper ads: "Chronic back pain and the rest, like everyone else," he said. "Non-sleeping. Can't eat very much.
"That, and I love pot."
Sunday, April 12, 2009
California Voters May Not Like Same-Sex Marriage, But They Love Pot!
According to an article in the Washington Post, the legalization of "medical" (wink) pot is making the use of marijuana a "mainstream" practice among residents of California. Even though California is more conservative than Iowa on the issue of same-sex marriage, residents in the Golden State can smoke pot with abandon -- so long as they get a doctor's note.