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.

(9) comments


John, Sorry for being off-topic, but I wondered what your take is on this. I accidentally tuned into Republican talk radio, and they were talking about the possibility that the "alleged" adverse reactions and deaths due to vaping were the result of an anti-vaping conspiracy, perhaps financed by tobacco companies.


Marijuna has had a bad rap since the 1930's when hemp cultivation competed with the lumber industry at the paper mills. William Randolph Hearst first ran a smear campaign aaginst Hemp and Marijuana because he invested heavily in the timber industry. Marijuana has been documented to be used for thousands of years. The current prohibition is just like the alcohol prohibition that was doomed to failure. Legalize it at the Federal level and watch the tax dollars flow in just like in the states that have legalized it.


Should we be making paper from hemp??


Indians were smoking tobacco when Columbus came to America. He took it back to Europe. was tobacco first considered to be dangerous to health?In 1602 an anonymous English author published an essay titled Worke of Chimney Sweepers (sic) which stated that illnesses often seen in chimney sweepers were caused by soot and that tobacco may have similar effects. This was one of the earliest known instances of smoking being linked to ill health.In 1795 Sammuel Thomas von Soemmering of Maine (Germany) reported that he was becoming more aware of cancers of the lip in pipe smokersIn 1798 the US physician Benjamin Rush wrote on the medical dangers of tobaccoDuring the 1920s the first medical reports linking smoking to lung cancer began to appear. Many newspaper editors refused to report these findings as they did not want to offend tobacco companies who advertised heavily in the mediaA series of major medical reports in the 1950s and 1960s confirmed that tobacco caused a range of serious diseases.When were cigarettes developed?Cigarette making machines were developed in the latter half of the 1800s. The first such machines produced about 200 cigarettes per minute (today’s machines produce about 9,000 per minute). Cheap mass production and the use of cigarette advertising allowed tobacco companies to expand their markets during this period.


A major difference is tobacco has no medical benefit, at least that I know of. And tobacco is definitely physically addictive. Marijuana appears to have medical benefits and does not appear to be physically addictive. If I had to choose, I would take the latter.

Alcohol may have medical benefit in moderation, but it is physically addictive and is aligned with violent acts. People using marijuana are mello and not prone to violent acts. Again, I would choose the latter over the former.


John, you are right, if we are going to allow corporations to grow marijuana there is no reason you should not be able to grow your own for personal use. That is a problem they have created. Personally, I don't believe in taking any drug not needed and all drugs have side effects.


Prohibitions have a record of failing to do what we want them to do. So many will ask "Why bother?" However, education seems to have reduced the use of tobacco. I do remember men in white coats talking about smoking and saying "Not a cough in a carload." And we learned what smoking and combustion and even carbon monoxide could do to our health. How long will it take to learn all the problems of pot? And how many will bet their health and lives on the answers?


We knew about 100 years ago, smoking was bad. Putting anything into your body can be harmful, but many are only interested in their immediate concern,


Ain't that the truth.

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