It’s been five years since they basically decriminalized possession of a small amount of cannabis in Maryland.
To go from getting arrested to getting a fine was and is a big deal. Or so I thought; the speed at which change can travel is sometimes fickle. And seemingly just like that, two years ago medical dispensaries first opened their doors to qualifying patients.
Five years in the future, recreational use has to be legal? Even with the recent vaping health concerns, just lighting the dried buds on fire seems to have worked sufficiently in the past. A 90 percent-plus concentrate of THC seems a bit much and the current state of affairs seems untenable. Still, not being able to grow a plant in your own garden feels like a form of corporate protectionism now. Cannabis is a plant competing with alcohol, tobacco, prescription and over-the-counter drugs for consumer dollars.
You might be like me and experience chronic pain. The older you get, the more you think about risk versus reward. How much pain can you tolerate? What type of medication you are taking? How long is long enough for either one? I have grandsons that are toddlers, and I need to think about the long-term health consequences of NSAID use. Getting a knee replacement is not an option; neither are opioids.
Getting a Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission patient card seems like a reasonable option in the future.
It might not be right for you, but from what I know, it won’t kill my liver. In my case, things haven’t gotten better and there is increasingly more wear and tear on my knee that comes with greater use. I’d be interested in the topical CBD/THC products. Something you can’t currently find at a local pharmacy, unfortunately, 100 years ago, you could.
How would you begin to get a medical card? It begins in your doctor’s office with an evaluation or prescription.
The next step is to find a local doctor who is also a certifying provider —you can find that on Weedmaps. Once you fill out the paperwork, and pay the doctor and the state, you get to wait. Based on the website, the current wait time for the MMCC is about a month.
In the meantime, you can look at the menus from different local dispensaries online. With a choice of flowers, waxes, concentrates, edibles, topicals, and pre-rolls to name a few categories. I’m a little excited about the freedom to use a nontoxic, plant-based product.
It only took 44 years.
Better late than never. I think about all the wasted lives and money, compounded by the time that we spent together as a society waging a failed war on a weed. This is a new green deal with a new green card. The weed has already won. Now we have drug-war vets that need to be integrated back into society and have past cannabis convictions expunged.
John Jacobs writes and lives in Frederick.