Me and Mary Jane A pot newbie's clumsy foray into the world of medical marijuana
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    October 28th, 2009Mary JaneMedical Marijuana Clinic

    Since I had a half hour I was able to read every word of the legal disclaimers on the wall (I can recite them if you’d like).  I also did some final run-throughs of what I would say to my pot doc.  I need to make sure to use the word cannabis.  I had learned on the internet that was the correct terminology. Cannabis, cannabis, cannabis.

    clock2Gradually people started to trickle in.  The first was a hippie looking girl in her mid 20’s.  Her appointment was at 10:10, 10 minutes after mine.  Hmm, that’s weird.  The next was a man in his early 30’s: business casual, but not too casual, like myself.  His appointment was at 10:20.  Finally, an older woman who had a distinct air of strength, pain, and cancer.  My heart went out to her.  Her appointment was at 10:30.  I was surprised about the quick 10 minute turn around for the pot doc and relieved I had taken the extra steps to organize and sticky tab my medical records.  He was clearly busy. 

    When I was finally face to face with my pot doc, I realized he was not Captain Stubing at all.  Perhaps Stubing after a bout of ocean sickness, but much more gruff than my original observation.  As he looked through my medical records (I use the word “looked” loosely because he clearly thought it was an animated flip book) he gave me some papers to review.  The first outlined the four ways to ingest cannabis:

    1. Smoke (clearly)
    2. Eat (been there, done that)
    3. Vaporize (whoa! sounds fancy)
    4. Suppository (what!! in your butt? oh dear!)

    Then next paper told me that I could still be fired for cannabis use.  This was more of a tactic to get me riled up about 519px-Donatello_david_plaster_replica_back_torso_1000px_widehow unfair the current marijuana laws are.  Unfortunately I was still riled up about sticking cannabis in my butt. Then the pot doc’s cell phone rang and, to my astonishment, he took the call! He excused himself, walked out to the parking lot (where I had just seen him 30 minutes earlier), and had a laughy-chatty convo while I sat in his office. WTF?? My 10 minute clock was ticking!

    Anyway, back to my literature.  Next was an explanation of what a vaporizer was and why it was the best (more on that in later posts).  The last piece of paper told me that I was now able to grow cannabis, but I could only grow 24 plants at a time.  The pot doc came back in and made a point to discuss this one with me. He was very adamant about this: If I had a 25th plant and the cops raided my place, they would charge me with intent to distribute.  Why is he telling me this?  First of all why would I grow this stuff when I could just buy it at the store?  Second of all where would I put 24 plants?  (And this is when I thought pot plants were the size of a small basil plant; apparently they’re more like a small tree.)  Third of all, in my butt?!?!

    This was a lot of information, but I still had questions.  How much to I use?  What if I use too much?  His response: “Well Katie, if you take too much pot you just have to ride it out, just ride it out.  Understand?”  No, I don’t understand.  Ride it out?  Ride it to where?  To the hospital?  To the drive through?  And, I didn’t think we were allowed to use the word pot.  Isn’t it called cannabis? Unfortunately at that point it was 10:10 and my appointment was done.

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    October 25th, 2009Mary JaneMedical Marijuana Clinic

    graypantsFinally the day came.  More preparation went into this day than into my college application, sorority rush, and first job interview combined.  First, I need to pick out an outfit.  It was important that I look professional, but not too professional.  I chose a nice navy shirt with a sensible pair of grey slacks.  Normally I would call them pants, but slacks seemed like the right terminology for this day.

    Next I had to take time off work.  I mean, it was a doctor appointment…but it was to get pot.  There was much emotional turmoil and soul searching over this, but I ultimately made it out the door.

    Then there was the drive over.  This was my rehearsal.  Actually, I had been rehearsing potential questions all week, but this was the final run through.  (Doctor: “How much pain are you in?” Me: “Knife sticking out of my pelvis.” Doctor: “Is the nausea really that bad?” Me: “Remember the time you ate sushi from that questionable street vendor?”) I wanted to make sure I didn’t downplay the severity of my situation, but I was also afraid of being too whiney.  I wanted to be vulnerable, but secure in my decision.  Really I just wanted him to help me and was terrified of screwing it up.

    So terrified that I showed up 35 minutes early.  This was early enough to see my new pot doc sitting outside on his cell phone.  He was a perfect mix of Merrill Stubing (Captain of The Love Boat) and Mr. Cunningham (the dad from Happy Days).  The ideal grandpa.  I do have to admit that it was a little weird seeing him on the phone out in the parking lot.  Kinda like seeing your teacher at the mall.  They aren’t supposed to be real people.

    Next I went inside and checked in with the receptionist.  She asked me if I was aware I was over a half hour early and that they weren’t open yet.  I laughed, acting as breezy as possible.  Something along the lines of being in the area and happy to wait.  She motioned over to the waiting area and I headed in that direction.  Casual, but not too casual.

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    October 21st, 2009Mary JaneMedical Marijuana Clinic

    So, if you need to find a medical marijuana doctor, don’t google “medical marijuana doctor.” Instead, google “medical marijuana clinics.”  A little tip from me to you.  This finally lead to an actual listing of places.  How do you choose?  Well, I’m not sure if I would recommend it, but I chose the one that kept coming up highest in each of my searches.  Kudos to their Search Engine Optimization guy. 

    I was a little apprehensive at first because it was located in Kearney Mesa.  Now, I feel as though I’m going to offend many Kearney Mesans out there, but up to that point my only experince with this area of San Diego was that it was a mecca of strip clubs and nudie magazine shops.  Oh well, google seems to support this guy and I’m pretty sure google knows everything.  I called and made an appointment.

    medical-recordsThey asked me to bring my medical records for the appointment with the pot doc.  This made me feel much more legit and I was happy to provide it.  So happy that I spent hours reviewing my file and organizing it with dividers and neon sticky tabs.  Originally I wanted to rearrange my history in order of importance: Of course my pot doc would be more interested in my surgery than my sore throat in the late 90’s.  But then I panicked!  What if my pot doc noticed the altered records and denied me??  I left it as is.  Phew, close one.

    Now came the waiting.  I swung between being giddy with excitement and stricken with fear of being denied!  I wanted someone to share this with, but I was still so apprehensive.  I had this amazing little secret that I was sure would change my world.  But I couldn’t tell my parents (what if they asked me about sex next?) and I couldn’t tell my co-workers (what if they told my boss…or asked me about sex? Awkward!), so I just sat and marinated in my excitement/fear.