Posts Tagged ‘bucket list’

I have written in earlier posts about my experience with the Ohio Medical Marijuana program, so I wanted to make an easy outline to date.

Your application for a medical card in Ohio has to be approved by a certified state doctor. There are a limited number of them as most doctors do not want to touch cannibals until federally legalized or decriminalized to some extent. You have to pay to register for the card and then pay to see the certified doctor – wherever they are in the state. Each year you have to pay to renew your Ohio card. Additional doctor visits may be required.

There are very few dispensaries currently open for business and fewer growers. The numbers are strictly limited, but most of the dispensaries are not open yet because the growers do not have enough ‘medicine’ to go around.

Once harvested it must go through testing and approval which also costs money.

Make no mistake; this is a money making business every step of the way.

Everyone that handles this process must operate with cash. The laws to make marijuana a Schedule 1 narcotic in the US was politically motivated and intentionally used as a weapon against ‘dissidents’ and other groups considered unfriendly. Because it is still a Schedule 1 narcotic it is a federal offense to ‘launder’ drug money. Banks are even prohibited from accepting legal monies because they are federally insured. Same with credit cards.

That means you have to use cash (or other versions like debit cards and pay-pal in some cases). You are buying medicine but still feel treated like a criminal.

Prices are very high – I have been told Ohio is the most expensive state to purchase medical marijuana. Part of this is because not all the growers are on-line and harvesting and that opens up to supply and demand rules. Few have it so they can raise the price up to any point people will still pay. Part of it is because EVERYONE has to get a cut of the profit. Each step in the process costs a little bit here – a little more there. All for something I could grow at home ……………………………………… but no. The Ohio laws stop us from doing that.

We can not smoke ‘plant material’ as the industry likes to call it. You have to use a vape pen with a ceramic chamber to heat up the marijuana to the right temperature so as not to burn the plant material but to ‘toast’ it enough to release the THC or CBD. That means you have to buy a device just for this. Another cost.

Not ideal for patients and care providers but at least I can cross buying marijuana legally off my bucket list!

To be honest I do not have a bucket list though there are things that I expected to be able to do before I died. One of those items I really have not achieved, but I did get to take a first step.

Last year I was approved and certified for medical marijuana in the state of Ohio. There are only a small handful of dispensaries open in the state……. they are still way behind schedule. (this reminds me of a saying attributed to Mark Twain that I heard as a young adult. It is reported that he was asked what he would do if he knew the end of the world was coming. He quickly stated that he would move to Ohio. When asked why, he said that everything happens 20 years later there).

True still today, we are usually behind the rest of the country if not the world. So even though I had to drive hundreds of miles out of my way, for the first time in my life I purchased marijuana legally in Ohio. I figured by the time I was 30 years old politicians and citizens alike would wake up and remove the lies surrounding marijuana use and it would be legal for all.

I am not sure when or if this will happen, but I am not willing to take the risk in waiting. So I took the first step until recreational use is a reality. The experience was a bit bizarre, but I will get into that in a later post. Right now it is time for me to take my medicine.

Sure enough, as the years passed the allergies and reactions changed. Some triggers no longer caused days of panicked suffocation brought on by these asthma attacks. A number of the allergens would start to cause breathing problems but I learned if I could remove myself from the environment or place myself in a calming mental state and focus on breathing properly I could stop the attacks from getting worse.

Eventually I reached a point where the severe attacks were rare. I could manage to do most of the things I needed to do and new friends had no idea that I suffered from bronchial asthma. As these things shifted I started to have sneezing fits in the place of attacks. I would walk into a room or go outside and breathe in the cold/hot air and start sneezing out of control. It was not unusual to sneeze 30 – 40 times in a row. Sneezing five times in rapid succession is exhausting. By the time I hit 30 I was helpless. My body temperature would raise dramatically and I would break out in a heavy sweat. Now, even those symptoms are gone.

Nowadays there is politics in everything. There was back when I was born, too. Politicians decided to make possession and use of marijuana a crime similar to use of narcotics and psychotropic based drugs. This allowed US law enforcement agencies to arrest and imprison ‘specific groups of radicals and dissidents’ who were known to use marijuana. In my pursuit of life, liberty and health, I was made a criminal by my own government for using something in my own home that I could grow in my back yard! Marijuana has been used throughout human history and there is no evidence based reason for a Schedule 1 classified drug. This year the WHO (World Health Organization) suggested rescheduling use of marijuana to delete its schedule 1 classification. https://www.icci.science/data/files/ECDDcannabisoutcome.pdf

My state of Ohio passed a medical marijuana law a couple years ago. You are required to be approved for a number of medical conditions by select certified doctors in the state. Once approved you will be issued a medical marijuana card that can be used in Ohio. I applied for the card and easily qualified for intractable pain. Late last year the first dispensary opened in Ohio. There are no dispensaries anywhere near me and the program is way behind schedule.

As a young adult I thought marijuana would be legalized very soon. I kept thinking this as I saw friends, family, classmates, teachers and every class of people destroyed by alcohol, sleeping pills, tobacco, sugar, salt and a million other things that seemed far more dangerous and showed little or no benefits. Years went on and no change in political attitudes, though there was a clear change in social views. I would just like to be able to use marijuana as a medication and no longer be a criminal by the time I die.

Then I would like to see the thousands of people with criminal records for non-violent use be freed and their records expunged. If it is not asking too much, I would like my country’s politicians to be governed by facts, science and compromise for the common good. I may not live to see that one.

The End of the Road