Thursday, January 06, 2011
This morning I paid a visit to my local cooperative to pick up about a month's supply of what I now habitually refer to as "medicine" rather than "weed" or "pot" or "dope." And after 30-plus years of hit-and-miss, very unreliable purchases arranged through friends or improvised on the streets, it's a pleasure to finally be conducting this particular transaction in a civilized manner.
The co-op is in an unremarkable building with a permanent address. Inside, the "patient" is shown into a room where a wide variety of "medication" is attractively displayed in its dried and cured form, or packaged as "edibles." A staff member is there to answer your questions and take your "donation."
I'm one of a select but growing number of Washingtonians able to use this service because I've been recognized by the state as a legitimate user, due to my having been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Other conditions meriting legal relief through the use of this particular drug include Crohn's Disease and the sort of chronic pain arising from injuries to or dysfunctions of the spine. Similar accommodations for similar reasons have been implemented in California and several other states.
And the bottom line is it works for me. Inhaling the vapors of the cannabis plant relieves my tremors and the nervous anxiety that accompanies them. Still, I think it's insane that in a country where alcohol is legally purchasable by any adult, including those with histories of extreme alcohol abuse, and highly poisonous cigarettes are universally available, that everyone over age of 18 is still, to this day, not extended the option of using this gentle and therapeutic plant if he or she chooses to do so.
The loss of tax revenue alone makes such obstinacy highly irrational from a practical point of view, and leads me to believe that entrenched powers such as the Drug Enforcement Administration must have enormous resources invested in maintaining the repressive status quo.