AS AN ASPIRING ZEN MASTER BUDTENDER, I’M TRYING TO mitigate any feelings of rage that might overcome me these days. In traffic, for instance. But there’s one thing that’s really been getting my blood boiling lately—and that’s all the disparaging, inaccurate remarks flung at the medical marijuana world, especially the insults hurled at the patients.

You’ve no doubt heard how the dispensaries are allegedly filled mostly with seemingly healthy  guys between 18 and 30. Critics call it a scam for young stoners to get cheap weed. And we definitely get our share of that demographic.

But it’s not the majority of our business. We also get lots of patients in their 40s, 50, 60s—even 70s. Plenty of females coming to see us as well.

And all those seemingly healthy young guys?

Today’s patients included a guy in his mid-20s who works in the film business as an assistant director. He told me he’s on his feet 14-16 hours a day. When he gets home, everything from his feet on up to his hips is hurting. A little cannabis at night cures his ills.

Another one of those seemingly fit young guys was a former Marine who grew up never smoking pot—unlike almost everyone else in his family. He was the straight arrow who was gonna lead them down the path of righteousness.

Then Reggie (not his real name) blew out his knee during his stint in the Marines. The doctor botched his surgery and Reggie’s jacked up knee eventually led to back and hip problems. He’s never been the same. The chronic pain is bearable—usually—with a dose of medical marijuana. “What else am I gonna do?” Reggie scoffs indignantly. “Get hooked on Vicodin and Xanax and all that crap? No thank you.”

Reggie sounds like a lot of our patients. More and more people are rejecting Big Pharma’s sales pitch—what with all those nasty possible side effects—in favor of medical cannabis. And why not? Countless studies have proven its efficacy. No one’s ever died from a pot overdose. And countries like Holland have proven that pot smoking numbers actually go down in countries where marijuana is legal.

The world is about to find out what happens when one of the biggest states in America legalizes marijuana. Once it’s taxed, regulated and fairly distributed the benefits are bound to be monumental.

Until then, the fight continues. Through a gray, skunky haze of speculation, anticipation and misinformation.


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