Proof of How Easy It Is to Buy Marijuana in California

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Above are both sides of a business card I found today on my car’s windshield. (Notice the misspelling of “compassionate” on one side, and “prescription” on the other. Proof, yet again, that stoners don’t use spell check.)

I’ve lived in California all of my life—in Cupertino, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, San Diego. I know from stoners. But this is new. This is stoners and doctors joining forces. Before this, the only thing doctors and stoners had in common was that they both used these things:

clips

Now finding a licensed physician in California who will write you a prescription for “medical” marijuana is like finding a homeless person who’ll take a dollar you give them. Not exactly a challenge. You write Dr. Roachclip a check ($99!); he writes you your prescription for pot.

Badda-bing, bodda-bong.

And look! Once you’ve got your pot prescription, you never have to leave your house!

The good news is that if you’ve got financial worries, they’re over. All you have to do is invest every last penny you have in Cheetoes and frozen pizzas. Now.

Related posts o’ mine: Proof People Get Stoned at Work, and My Visit to a Marijuana Anonymous Meeting.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • Latoya

    Are you joking??!! I can imagine that most of the supply come from here [in Jamaica], even though it's illegal. people get caught trying to smuggle it ALL THE TIME, but it just continues.

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    What exactly is a perscription?

    Seriously though, what's wrong with this? If someone has a doctor's recommendation and perhaps has a serious medical condition where they have mobility issues doesn't it make sense that someone could deliver their medicine to them? How is this different from Meals on Wheels?

    You people continue to act like there's something wrong with consuming marijuana. Would you feel this way if Walgreens offered a delivery service for the dope that Big Pharma peddles?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Brian: Oh, yeah! I didn't even noticed they had misspelled "prescription"! I'm so going to have to go back and make a joke about that.

    But … for whom is your note intended? Who are these "you people" you're complaining against? Who said there was anything wrong with consuming marijuana? I'm not saying I don't think there's anything wrong with smoking weed—but I sure didn't say anything like that here.

    So smoking weed DOES make people paranoid! (Kidding.)

  • http://smi23le.wordpress.com/ Brian Shields

    Come on John, you're ridiculing the fact that caregivers are making it easier for patients to get access to their medicine. Again I ask would you make fun of Walgreens for delivering Big Pharma dope to the people whose doctors say they need that stuff?

    And as I've long contended, I'm not paranoid, I'm paranormal :)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Shoot! They also misspelled "compassionate." But I can't figure out a way to smoothly work in a joke about stoners not using using spell-check!

    And you're great joke about "paranormal" makes me think of something. My understanding is that "para–" means "alongside of." Parachurch, parallel, paranormal, etc. I know that's what "para–" means. But what's a NOID, then?

    Brian: Surely you discern the difference between the kind of operation run by the people behind this card, and "caregivers making it easier for patients to get access to their medicine." I mean … please.

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    But I can’t figure out a way to smoothly work in a joke about stoners not using using spell-check!

    hahaha — you people crack me up. bodda-bong.

    I'm sitting here thinking I could prob photoshop your smiling mug onto Ali Baba's face.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    "Badda bong." I have to say, Ric, that you have what I think is some sort of preternatural talent for picking out, every time, the jokes that are my favorites, too.

    But … who's "you people"?

    My face on Ali Bong-Bong's body. Yeah, because I don't get enough grief.

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    No John, I really don't see the difference between caregivers providing medicine to those with a legal reason to get it and these folks. Is it just the rather inept and grammatically-incorrect marketing of which you disapprove?

    On Facebook, you re-titled the link to "Insanely" easy to buy marijuana. Why is this insane? Seems like the free market at work to me with people legally providing a legal service.

    You people are the people, like you, who persist in the idea that consuming marijuana is somehow wrong or immoral or the proper subject of derision.

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    How convenient.

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    Mary K: While I disagree with some of your premises, I wholeheartedly endorse your conclusion. Full legalization seems like the only logical conclusion to me.

  • http://findinggodinyourfamily.wordpress.com/ marykretzmann

    Brian –

    Which premises do you disagree with?

    HIGH profits?

    Murder?

    Violence?

    In fact the main reason I appreciate the pot growers is that it is MUCH better than when the hills here were filled with meth labs. Now that was dark.

    And that is the one reason I hesitate to push for marijuana to be fully legalized – I'm afraid of what will replace it here.

    Most of the pot growers are nice enough people and if they stick to there 6 plants – there is not violence involved.

    MK

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    "You people" must be referring to the spell-check rebels of Canifornia, right? bodda-bong.

    And Brian, shields down dude. This post reads like something from a late-night monologue, only funnier. You people are so quick to pull the "you people" trigger.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      "Brian: shields down!" You're on a roll today, Ric!

      I have a very simple reason for why I think weed is worse than alcohol. It's just a personal reason, a private conclusion I've reached that I'm confident is true but am not at all inclined to argue about (and won't) because it's just something that I think: weed is worse than alcohol because weed fundamentally and absolutely changes who a person is. When you get stoned, you become a different person; for lack of a better way of saying it, it disconnects you from the source, or core, of your being and identity. Your consciousness is severed from its … fount. Except for that very rare group of people who when drunk become seriously mean, drunk people remain essentially themselves. A stoned person, however, completely disconnects from who he usually is. And who he becomes in place of who he is naturally is invariably someone so intensely focused on himself that he's useless socially or intellectually. That's why a party where people are drunk can be (and usually is) a lot of fun: because drunk people are still interested in other people. A party where everyone is stoned is no party at all: it's just a bunch of people so into themselves they're incapable of socializing. If, from a distance, you watch a group of any size get drunk, you'll notice that as the alcohol hits them, they start moving closer and being more together. But you watch people get stoned, and as the buzz comes over them you always see them starting to physically disconnect: they're interactive rhythms will get all haywire, and they'll start basically acting like tops banging against one another. In short order they simply stop trying, and isolate. Weed isolates people; alcohol brings people together. That's why I think alcohol—as bad and destructive as it can certainly be—is better than weed.

  • http://findinggodinyourfamily.wordpress.com/ marykretzmann

    About depression

    I was stating an irony.

    And recently I mentioned this to a friend who grows medical marijuana – she makes a point to call it an herb -and in her case she is sincere…

    Anyway – she says she has heard that it actually does tend to make some females depressed. Maybe it increases the female hormones too much?

    I do think that is he problem I saw with the teen boys.

    About prohibition – yes – is is the profit level.

    About alcohol – I don't use that either.

    High THC levels – yes – it is good if people actually then smoke a much smaller joint – thus saving their lungs.

    But I resent the pt growers commandeering the market for their own greed. Because that is how pot was made illegal in the first place. DuPont pushed very hard to make pot illegal so it could sell plastic rope (push hemp rope out of the market.)

    From and article written by my younger son – still in high school:

    "…The movement against marijuana, hemp, and cannabis was pushed forward by special interest groups who saw hemp specifically as a competitive threat. DuPont had recently patented nylon and jumped on the opportunity to take hemp out of the picture. Hemp was also a legitimate force in the paper industry and represented a threat to that area of the lumber industry. Pharmaceutical companies didn’t appreciate the fact that they couldn’t control the cannabis market, given the fact that people could grow it right in their backyard and didn’t rely on the commercial market…."
    http://www.freedomchatter.com/the-deceit-of-the-d

  • http://findinggodinyourfamily.wordpress.com/ marykretzmann

    please excuse my typos

    Sorry!

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    John: I love how you make provocative statements and then say you won't argue about them.

    I will just say that I've had the exact opposite experience. Drunk people are totally self-absorbed, demanding that you listen to their inane ramblings before puking over themselves and you. Stoned people become more social, more humorous, more interested in each other until they fall asleep.

    Isn't it great that different people can have completely different reactions to the same substance? That's why we shouldn't legislate one way or the other on one person's anecdotal experiences.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Brian: saying, “John: I love how you make provocative statements and then say you won’t argue about them” implies this is something I’ve ever done before. It’s not; this is a first. As someone who makes a living in communications, I’m sure you’re concerned about the veracity of what you yourself communicate, lest anyone have reason to believe you’re inclined toward hyperbole.

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    John:

    Is this a ploy to make me go back through your archives and find all of the times you've employed this little trick in order to drive more page-views? ;)

    Brian

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Think, bong-boy. Wouldn't ENCOURAGING argument be better for my page-views?

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    Sticks and stones..

  • http://findinggodinyourfamily.wordpress.com/ marykretzmann

    This has really gone down hill…

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Yeah, Brian.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    (Oh, Mary, I did want to say how much I appreciate you sharing your experience with us. REALLY interesting. Did you read the NYer article? Much affirmation of what you've here said. It was great to get your perspective.)

  • O. B. Server

    Exodus 30:22-23 mentions kaneh-bos (cannabis) as an ingredient of the sacred anointing oil.

    1Samuel 14:27 E.W Bullinger: "an honeycomb. The Heb ya'ar never means honeycomb, but 'a wood'. It is rendered 'forest' thirty-eight times, 'wood' nineteen times, 'honeycomb' only here and Song 5.1. It points to a dense growing wood or thicket; and it has been suggested that it was the CANNABIS INDICA, or HEMP plant, producing the eastern intoxicant HASHISH. This would produce an effect on the eyes, though it would subsequently dull the senses. Song 5.1 would read 'I have eaten my CANNABIS with my honey'."(E.W. Bullinger, Note in the Companion Bible for 1Sam.14:27)

    "For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." – 1 Timothy 4:1-5

    and,

    "… there was NO HARM IN THE POT." – 2Kings 4:41c, KJV

    etc.

    Isa 5:20 "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for

    light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for

    bitter!"

    You think you're so sure that using cannabis is a sin.

    But, you're wrong. Taking cannabis is not a sin.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Where did I say that using cannabis is a sin? If you're going to argue with something I say, at least have it BE something I said.

    I think it's safe to say getting stoned disassociates people from the LOGIC part of their brains. Sheesh.

  • RogerC

    That beats anything I've ever read, and I bet I've read a thousand things. . .

  • http://theskinhorse.wordpress.com theskinhorse

    John and Brian: In regards to the alcohol vs pot influence on behavioral changes, I have had similar experiences to Brian. I rarely enjoy hanging around drunk people since many seem to get overly irritated and sloppy.

    I've known many stoners that actually become MORE outgoing or motivated when high as opposed to sober. Substances effect individuals differently.

    I think our personal experiences not only are influenced by the crowd, individuals and atmosphere but also duration and frequency of experience as well as the amount of the substance involved. I've know people to argue that others can "be a little drunk" but "not "be a little high," but I disagree with this. There are varying degrees of drunkenness and stonage. Both extremes tend to isolate people, impair their functioning and radically change their behavior.

    In reply to these statements: "When you get stoned, you become a different person; for lack of a better way of saying it, it disconnects you from the source, or core, of your being and identity. Your consciousness is severed from its … fount."

    I see this happen to some people, but, in my experience, not the majority. Certain aspects of their personality may be enhanced or suppressed, but it is rare that I've seen a person deviate very much from their sober personality (unless they are completely gone, but that goes for any mind-altering substance).

    There are those that use pot as an entheogen; it has a spiritual value to them and allows them to more easily connect with or channel the divine. I know of others that use pot to enhance introspection or meditation. In my experience, most people that I know who use pot are not using it just to party or decompress; they utilize the changes of perception it creates to further some of their personal growth. Of course, this may be due to the crowd of stoners of which I tend to associate. I do agree that for certain people, pot use can be damaging as it may cause loss of ambition or personal isolation. Once again, I think it all depends on the individual and their personal biochemistry and experience.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I just found this in the middle of the front page of a website that is easily the most professional, dignified-looking, super-sober-seeming medical marijuana website I've seen. (It's done by a doctor–or maybe a physician's group—who want to be YOUR go-to medical marijuana M.D.'s.) Check out this list of things they claim can be cured via weed. Look at the LAST ONE:

    Discover The Chronic Diseases That Can Be Treated With Medical Cannabis

    • Back/Joint Pain

    • Anxiety/Depression

    • Difficulty Sleeping

    • Nausea/Lack of Appetite

    • Arthritis

    • Cancer

    • HIV/Aids

    • Gastrointestinal Diseases

    • Aging

    AGING!

  • http://theskinhorse.wordpress.com theskinhorse

    Oh, btw, the NOID is the strange, little, red dude that was Domino's mascot for a while. How could you forget about him?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    (Say, I do want to be clear about something. I do believe—-I mean, I don't even think it's debatable—that marijuana has very legitimate uses for a whole host of medical ailments. So I'm mostly just poking fun with, like, the above business about how it can cure AGING. I think weed is completely unhealthy to use recreationally [sp?]—but that's anybody's personal business. And I certainly hate the idea of medical marijuana being exploited for the benefit of people who just want to get high. But speaking strictly medicinally, I think it's a resource that should be explored with all the rigor with which we explore, test, and prescribe any medicine.)

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    Well I know pot keeps me young. Seriously John, I think they mean "the effects of aging".

    I expected some snide remark instead on "joint pain" Does the joint feel pain when it's burning? I would think it does.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Oh! "Joint pains!" That would have been so much funnier!

    Curse you funny stoners!!!

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    Lack of Appetite! hahaha Where ARE those Cheetos?? And is it just me, or does that tiger mascot look stoned?

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    Oh and John… I'm sure you've never done this before either… taking the claim of someone with whom you disagreed and exaggerated it to the point that they look ridiculous.

    You say, "Check out this list of things they claim can be cured via weed." and then when you copy and paste their actual statement it comes out, "Discover The Chronic Diseases That Can Be Treated With Medical Cannabis."

    Cured and treated are not the same thing. They don't claim to "cure" aging or AIDS or anything else. They say it's a "treatment".

    As SOMEONE recently told me, "I’m sure you’re concerned about the veracity of what you yourself communicate, lest anyone have reason to believe you’re inclined toward hyperbole."

  • http://living3dfaith.blogspot.com/ Tim

    Why can't the majority of users just be honest about their desire for medicinal marijuana? I was a pot-head for 16 years. In fact, I smoked pot for a month one night. But by today's standards, I could certainly rate a bag of gnarly sensimilla with the symptoms of stress, chronic depression, hypertension and what-not that I've been medically diagnosed with over the years. But what would it really do for me that I can't do for myself? Most pot-heads (and I include myself) smoked pot because it makes us "mellow", and "laid-back". Besides, re-runs of "Star Trek" , "Leave It To Beaver", and "The Three Stooges" aren't NEARLY as funny or bizarre as those watched after blazing a fatty. What was that old stoner adage?…"pot will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no pot". Sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy if you ask me. If a person prefers pot to money, they will more than likely be a slacker just doing the bear minimum required to keep themselves in munchies, brewskis and buds. If people want to label me as one of "those people" go right ahead. No skin off my keester. : D

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    No, no, you would not. Sweet sentiment, though! Very kind! But …. no. You wouldn't. Promise. Not fun. When it comes to weed, I'm most definitely not like the other boys.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Hyperbowl?

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    I am inclined to hyperbole… I mean hyperbowl

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Hah! Good one. Whew. I thought somebody who HAD ever gotten high with me had written you, or something. Cuz it's mainly impossible for anyone who's ever smoked weed with me not, if talking or writing or about that experiene, to use the word "hyper."

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    Too much sativa, not enough indica for you my friend

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Skinhorse: Good comment.

  • http://findinggodinyourfamily.wordpress.com/ marykretzmann

    “caregivers” and “medicine”?

    Give me a break people.

    I live in one of the biggest pot growing areas of California – and only a few of the people with prescriptions actually need it for “medicine” – they just want to get high (or rich). There is big money in growing marijuana – some people get about $10,000 per plant – if they are good gardeners. People in our area go to town and plunk down cash for SUVs and very LARGE Oriental carpets – for their yurts – I suppose.

    I stopped smoking pot about 35 years ago (while still in HIGH school) because I realized it was making me depressed. (So much for medical!) – If people do need medical marijuana – fine – they should have it. This business card – above – is the first time I’ve seen anything like that.

    Also – the pot is so much stronger these days that I was adamantly against my own kids smoking pot, and did everything in my power to make my point clear.

    http://www.theantidrug.com/

    I’ve seen teen boys just exist in a fog for most of their teen years. Not pretty – and not good for a formative time of life.

    My now-grown son served on the local volunteer fire department and has been called to the scene of a murder from a shoot-out over the MONEY involved in pot. And another young man had a gun pulled on him for showing up unannounced – to the remote driveway to the home of someone he already knew – again because of pot. He was there also in the capacity of the volunteer fire department. (I don’t recall the details.. – Just that these guys are NOT mellow about their pot.) And the volunteer fire department has a strict policy of NOT reporting any pot or drug activities to higher authorities…WHY? Because we don’t want these people burning the forest down because they were afraid to call the fire department.

    And – a few years aback a very larger operation was discovered way back on public land for growing marijuana – complete with irrigation from a nearby river and Mexican workers to tend the plants…It has also been well known for years in certain areas of California the you shouldn’t just hike through the forest – because you could get shot – by the pot growers…And now I believe it.

    Medical marijuana is legal – but the money is so good – many people grow extra – so that makes it illegal. You can “only” grow 6 plants per prescription. However – sometimes those plants grow very large – with fertilization, etc.

    So – I am now for full legalization of marijuana because it will cut into the profits and therefore some of the violence.

    By the way – there was a movement in our county to legalize the growing of hemp – and the people who showed up at city hall to protest that most vociferously were the growers of medical marijuana! They’ve got a good thing going right now. And they are also afraid that the hemp would weaken their strains of high THC marijuana. So it has come full circle that some (at least) of the people who enjoy pot the most – don’t want it fully legalized.

    So – to stop all of this craziness over a weed – i say legalize marijuana and hemp now. Especially legalize hemp – the USA has to import hemp from Canada. A weed!

    So – yes John – the business card is new to me – and yet in our area (no surprise) there was a doctor from Day 1 who would write you a marijuana prescription for any reason at all…Come in – make some claim pay the doctor bill and get your prescription. In fact most of the people would say they were “depressed.” – which I found ironic since that is why I had to stop smoking pot so long ago!

    Well – I meant to just make an amused comment but the other comm enters got me going a bit…

    LOL

    Mary K

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Here’s a wonderful New Yorker article about the marijuana-growing business:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/28/080728fa_fact_samuels

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    No, the premises I disagree with are that because you suspected pot was making you depressed that it couldn’t be an effective medication to treat depression.

    I disagree that because potency is greater now than when we were in high school that that is a bad thing. The fact is that you have to smoke a lot less of today’s pot than the big fat doobs that were common when there was a lower THC content.

    As for the violence, I think you need only look at the example of the last time America tried prohibition and the violence (Murder Inc.) that created gangsterism to see that prohibition is the problem, not the specific substance involved. Personally I think alcohol is a much more dangerous drug… one I don’t use and don’t really approve of than marijuana. However banning it was clearly counter-productive.

    But again I think you recognize this and that’s why you came to a conclusion I agree with…. full legalization will solve most of the problems now associated with it.

  • jeri

    Earth made pot for us to use as an anti anxiety med. God made Earth. How many of you drink alcohol? Just realized the other day its real gateway drug. Not MJ. I don't use either anymore. If I was forced at gunpoint ~weed from the universe would naturally be the best choice!

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    Yeah, John.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Brian: I don’t know who that was you quoted, but I’d love to meet him. Sounds like a freakin’ genius. But besides that, yes, you’re right: I should have noted the difference between “cure” and “treat.” I was actually on the phone when I posted that, so (and especially since I didn’t really take it seriously either way), I didn’t give it much thought beyond “cut” and “paste.” But NO EXCUSE, for sure. Sorry.

    Ric: Funny! I hate you now. But funny!

    Tim: “Gnarly sensimilla.” “Blazing a fatty.” “Buds.” Who are you, Peter Tosh?

    I think I myself smoked once or twice in the past. I don’t recall.

  • http://findinggodinyourfamily.wordpress.com/ Mary K

    LOL

    Love Tim’s post…

    And yes John I skimmed through much of the articel (13 pages!) and lingered on some parts. In my skimming I missed any sections that describe the persil of diving in an area of lots of pot growing.

    But I did see sections alluding to the profits therein…

    It’s a great article and I may god back and read it more deeply…

    Mary

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    I would love to smoke a joint with that guy I quoted.

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    I try to be a kind bud.

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    And I would love to smoke a hyperbowl

  • http://ramblingsofaspiritualidiot.blogspot.com/ Julia

    I have no problem with medical mj. As for use other than medical I treat users the same as people who drink to get drunk : I just stay away from them. *shrugs*

  • Leonardo

    Julia: Totally agree. Word of God says:

    "No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities."

  • RogerC

    A quote from the U.S. Drug Czar, October 2009

    To test the idea of legalizing and taxing marijuana, we only need to look at already legal drugs – alcohol and tobacco. We know that the taxes collected on these substances pale in comparison to the social and health care costs related to their widespread use.

    R. Gil Kerlikowske

    Director

    White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

  • http://findinggodinyourfamily.wordpress.com/ marykretzmann

    True

    Until you also add the in the costs of the drug war…

  • Melesa Garrison

    I smoked a little weed, but I did NOT inhale!


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