Whether you just moved to California, want to be able to legally get high or are just morbidly curious, TheBlot Magazine’s collected the steps to get your medical marijuana card in the Golden State. If youd like to become what the overly politically correct might call an Herbal American, heres how to not be a noob and maybe even save a little money.
Seeing the Doctor
Even if you hate going to the doctor, you can change your entire year with a visit Dr. Feelgood. Part of capitalizing on legal medical marijuana is actually getting the prescription. Rather than asking your personal physician, your best bet is to see one of the tons of marijuana doctors. Luckily, the legalization of marijuana has created enough healthy economical competition that you dont have to pay full price. Check out advertisements in your local indie paper or magazine for doctors and comparison shop. As a first-time client, you can pay less than market price, as low as $35 or less. It doesnt hurt to try and haggle after all, the legitimacy is pretty questionable. (But well get to that.)
Its a pretty simple process. It vaguely resembles visiting a doctor; you fill out what resembles an intake survey. The doctor calls you in. You may have worked out an elaborate plan for what to say, but the doctors often talk to you very briefly. When I went, I walked into a room with a laptop. A man on Skype, from his car, asked me what symptoms I had and if weed worked for me. In less than an hour, I was at a dispensary legally able to buy weed.
The card is actually not a card. Its a sheet of paper, sometimes green. It officially grants you the right to legally purchase marijuana and own a few plants if growing is your thing. Some doctors offices will try to up-sell you an actual card; these actually serve no purpose as they do not grant you access to dispensaries. They just have the information for your doctor should you ever be pulled over by the police. Feel free to say no and just get the certificate because that’s all you really need.
Going to the Dispensary
Now that you have your golden ticket, you can legally buy weed. Dispensaries have two models. You may visit a collective, where everything may have a price but is donation-based. Another type is more like a pharmacy, and it even charges sales tax. These are a lot more above-board and less drug-dealery than the weed doctors, so when entering, you should at least dispense with the formality of treating it like a pharmacy.
Most dispensaries will have a first-time promotion for new patients. You could get a free joint or maybe even more. Its a good idea to check out multiple dispensaries. Not only will you get a ton of free weed, but youll also find what meshes with your sensibilities and find a blend that works for you. Also be aware that some of the free joints you’re given are blends of various types of weed and may knock you on your ass.
When visiting a dispensary, its good to know the basics. Indicas are a strain that offer a body high. They help with anxiety, insomnia and body aches. The more popular indicas include Skywalker and Kush. Sativas offer a more uplifting mental high. They are best for creativity and help treat depression. Well-known sativas include Green Candy, Purple Haze, and Maui Waui. Like with wines, there are pot hybrids which offer different effects. When you go to your local dispensary, they will often bring the actual buds out for you to smell. If you dont know much, it may seem unnecessary, but over time youll learn what you want. There are also concentrates which offer a stronger effect, hashish which can gives you a more potent experience and edibles that you can consume for a tasty and more effective high. They also offer accouterments like grinders, pipes and you can even use liquid cannabis concentrates with your electronic vape pens.
Basic Law 101
Even if you have the legal right to consume medical marijuana, you may still want to cover your bases with the law. Driving while stoned is still considered a DUI. You are not legally allowed to buy weed for other people. You will want to avoid traveling with your medicine since policemen in other states are always on the lookout to bust people for drug offenses.
Now that youve got the basics down pat, you can feel free to get your prescription and access the wide world of legal marijuana use if you live in the state of California, of course. Just be sure to enjoy and be safe.
Frank Lee Tolde is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.