The 800 Pound Gorilla in the Medical Cannabis Room

I guess there is no easy way to say this, so it is best to get it right out there…..People think medical cannabis is a sham.

Well, it is not that they think cannabis being medicine is a sham; they think the fact that all of the sudden everyone is very sick and there are a million docs willing to authorize you to use medical cannabis for a lousy $50 fee is a sham.

Now, before you go flying off the handle about how, “All use is medical. My anxiety level is reduced and I sleep better. If cannabis makes me feel better than it is a medicine,” just know I could give a shit. I am not looking down my nose at you, or accusing you of anything.

I am just saying that people are no going for it; and the longer we continue to play the game of medical charades, the less impressed people are becoming and the more difficult it becomes to sell actual cannabis therapies to actual doctors who have practices that are not focused solely on cannabis.

I will be the grown-ass person in the room who decides to acknowledge that maybe we have overplayed that hand; and maybe new strategies are necessary for us to achieve our goal of ending prohibition.

Now, I know that is not everyone’s goal. There are plenty among us who deep-down have no desire to see cannabis truly legal ever. In our own reform circles, the amount of people who claim to be activists, but whose actions really represent those more of a prohibitionist, is striking. I used to think I was just tripping, and there is no way that this guy from NORML, or that dude who runs this big ass dispensary, would ever really be for extending, or delaying, prohibition.

But then you start seeing the patterns. The rhetoric spewed by one becomes the talking point of the next; and before you know it, there is a circular firing squad of half-hearted reform, and large groups of people who refuse to acknowledge reality. You can hear the hyperbolic bullshit intertwine itself into the lexicon of followers, and sooner than later, everyone is speaking in tongues and washed in the bullshit responses of those who could go for just another couple of years of the status quo.

There is no major internal acknowledgement that things are not working. None of these folks who make their money from the semi-legal market of medicalization are standing up and speaking the truth. They absolutely deny that there is a perception issue, or that the 19-year-old with the insomnia may be bullshitting his doctor. It is amazing to me that EVERY media story out these days questions the validity of this entire movement, yet from those supposedly leading the charge for medical cannabis remain utterly silent. Why? Because they know that their existence is dependent on things staying as they are. There is no effort to self-regulate the industry, or encourage some of the more flamboyant operators to slow their roll. You will not see the folks at ASA tell a doctor to quit writing questionable recommendations. When have you ever heard that? NEVER. Why?

Because of the 800 lb. gorilla called MONEY.

The doctors are making money hand over fist. Those patients then go to dispensaries, who make money hand over fist in a market that is inflated due to the semi-black market and risk. Those doctors and dispensaries donate to the reform groups, who in turn, do their bidding. So there in lies the reality…..It is hard to fight for cannabis freedom when it is in direct conflict with your paycheck…which is why the effort towards legalization is usually downplayed and discouraged by many “medical professionals” and organizations.

The next time a person says “Well, we need to get medical right before we can do adult use legalization” know that is code for “I could just use a few more years of making this money.” The absurd notion that we would waste our time and energy to pass more laws that regulate a medical market ,which will likely disappear after adult use passes, is tiring. Get a grip.

Medical cannabis is very real and powerful. It is a disservice to continue to stifle its research and integration into real medical circles because of selfish reasons to keep it bogged down by allowing doctors and less than seriously ill folks make a mockery of the term “medical.” Your big ass blunt is not a medicine…it does not matter how many times you say that it is out loud.

Until we begin to be honest with ourselves, we should not be surprised that others do not take us seriously. Because we fail to take a good hard look around and attempt to have an open and honest dialogue about the current state of affairs and were we stand as a community, we are doomed to mediocrity. We will continue to see half-hearted efforts towards reform, that are really efforts to maintain the current (and sad) state of affairs.

The 800 pound gorilla is definitely in the room, and he is getting pretty hungry.

7 thoughts on “The 800 Pound Gorilla in the Medical Cannabis Room”

  1. “Medical cannabis is very real and powerful. It is a disservice to continue to stifle its research and integration into real medical circles because of selfish reasons to keep it bogged down by allowing doctors and less than seriously ill folks make a mockery of the term “medical.” Your big ass blunt is not a medicine…it does not matter how many times you say that it is out loud.
    Until we begin to be honest with ourselves, we should not be surprised that others do not take us seriously.”

    Mickey, whether or not getting real relief from real insomnia, anxiety, and other symptoms (of a multitude of conditions…they are responses to situations people are in…and are often not visible/discernable to the outsider) is, to your mind, “medical,” it is to those of us who are literally physically sicker and less functional without it. I know you know that. I know you are referring to the young with less intense issues, who really just want to get high, and I do know they exist, plenty of them. They always will. Allowing them access to a safe substance instead of the alcohol they can get in their own homes and friends homes for free is in all of humanity’s interest. Anyone who thinks keeping kids away from cannabis is a good reason to keep cannabis illegal in any shape or form is an idiot. They aren’t thinking it through. I know you know that too.

    What is the take-away I should look for in this post?

    Is it just that the people supposedly pushing for the repeal of prohibition are just not doing it right and will not succeed because they do not focus on what the majority (the uninformed general public) seems to care most about (the kiddies)? Do you think that the main thing we have to focus on educating people about is use in teens? What is the solution? What do we push the providers to change in what they are doing so that they DO show they are honest and are trying to do what they can to help those of us who really need them?

    1. The issue, and what you should take away from this piece, is that our current “medical” system does not meet the smell test for the definition of medical in our society. Idealism aside, and understanding that the current system is a direct product of cannabis prohibition, the solution is to quit doubling down on a system that Joe Public sees as lacking integrity, and put all of our resources into legalizing cannabis to remove the semi-adult use culture from the medical aspects, and allow the medical industry to embrace cannabis medicines more wholeheartedly, while also reducing the cost and increasing the access of cannabis for everyone.

      18-20 year olds currently do not lose their standing, schooling, and rights for underage drinking. They would not for underage smoking either under legalization.

    2. I think the obvious take away is that prohibition hurts many more people than those served by the medical model that we are currently still supporting. Yes, many people need cannabis legitimately. The more that we allow the current system to slump along, the more we turn people off that are not involved in the “movement.” People believe that the medical cannabis system is a charade, a game, and that’s b/c at this point, it is.

      We need full legalization, with WELL CRAFTED legislation, that doesn’t involve any prohibitionist tactics or language. People in need will still get the medicine they require, and really dispensaries will still exist, probably making more money than ever. Seriously, ever heard of a bar? That’s what dispensaries become in legalization, and quite honestly, that’s what they already are: private bars, for members only.

      So your take away: Medical is not enough, the medical industry is serving prohibition rather than serving people’s needs, change needs to happen soon.

  2. Too true. The great Irony of the situation for cannabis as a medicine is that it will flourish when it’s federally legal and the drug makers can research it with their high dollar facilities.

    The gorilla lies in every room in America; seeing it is only the first step to enlightenment. The money will always be with cannabis as a legal commodity and as a medicine. The question is one of Narcissism vs. Altruism; are you out to line your pockets or help mankind?

    The truth is legalization is the best thing for cannabis medicine, therefore we all have the same goal. Listen to the weed activist and learn to replace your Narcissism with Altruism and lead a better life.

  3. As a medical marihuana patient and caregiver I see it daily; the line is gone. But I see full legalization coming, and there is no stopping it. The only group against it are seniors 65 and older at 2 to 1. The “Reefer Madness” generations are dying off, and the following generations aren’t as naive nor misinformed. With legalization will come medical research, and I’m certain it will be quite a race. It is a paradigm shift that will change the global economy before it is done as well; that’s what worries people with money and power the most.

    1. Seniors should be all over marijuana! It takes away aches and pains and puts a smile on your face. And that’s exactly what we need in our golden years. Maybe they just need to know this?

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