Getting a medical marijuana card in ArizonaSubmitted by Murphy1844 at 2019-04-03 17:38:46 EDT
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I'm originally from Portland, OR. This is important because, long before weed was legalized for medical and then recreational use, it was decriminalized. Meaningfully, pretty much anyone could be carrying around weed and share with people without too much concern about the cops busting them. It was up there with, "I'm trying to quit smoking, but when I drink I kinda crave a cigarette. Do you have one?"
Not so in Arizona. Here, to be in possession of weed is a fucking FELONY. As with all laws, this kinda depends on the cop, but if you get a by-the-booker, you could be spending time in jail and facing major fines.
I didn't really catch on to this until I went to a few bars and asked people around me if they had any bud they'd like to share. You see, in Oregon, this is almost always either a "oh yeah, sure thing... " or a "nah, I'm not really in to it, but my friend Gracie over there smokes all the time" ordeal. Then they'd point me in that direction, I'd buy Gracie a drink, and I'd have a small bud to puff on when I got home.
Gracie in this case was an older woman, probably in her 60's, who absolutely reeked of urine. It was hard to be around her. Her eyes were sharp, though. Her conversation was penetrating, as if she were looking right at my third eye and wondering what sort of glaucoma I was aiming to clear up. I remember saying, "hey, are you Gracie?" She said,
"Sure am." I said,
"I'm Murphy... I was just chatting with a friend over there and he," she interrupted. She said,
"Have a seat. I think I know already why you're talking to little old me, haha." She was disarmingly gentle and kind. I felt OK with her, but the piss smell was really overwhelming and immediately noticeable. I knew I didn't want to be around her for long. I said,
"Can I buy you a drink?" She said she didn't drink booze. She said,
"Oh I don't drink booze honey. This is Coca-Cola. I just come here for the company." We went on, and I eventually bought a gram or so for ten bucks, and then I went home. I'd like to keep this story focused on getting a medical marijuana card in Arizona, as the post promised. Before I let this one go, though, I do want to mention that Gracie did at some point lean her chair back almost to point of falling backward. I didn't really understand what she was doing, but for some reason I heard a subtle sound of flies buzzing around and everything seemed a bit off. And then she motioned for me to come closer, and then closer, which I did. And she whispered something in to my ear. She said, "over all these years, trying to tuck the darkness away, I finally learned that it's..."
I learned about "All Greens" from a random dude at a smoke shop. This is another unusual thing about AZ. There are smoke shops everywhere, claiming to have better prices on cigarettes. I was there to buy cigarette tubes because I roll my own tobacco using this neat little machine, and save a ton of money doing so. I casually asked him how difficult it was to get a MM card in AZ. He said it's not that hard, and then he went quiet. I've learned through intuition that this is a sticky subject in this state, and to leave it at that.
I was buying 20 boxes of these cigarette tubes, which struck the owner by surprise. He had plenty on display, but said that he needed to go to the back room and see if he could find a big case of these things or whatever. I understood, so I stepped around and looked at their merchandise. See, I was the only person in the entire store besides the random dude, so we welcomed each other's silence for a good two or three minutes. To some, this silence is awkward. To me, I consciously never add to the silence unless I have something meaningful to say, and I give other human beings the same credit, and therefore I don't find the silence awkward.
I paid for my tubes and the random guy said, "There's a pretty good place not far from here that you can get your card from." I asked some more questions, and then eventually Google'd it and called, and then went in for an assessment.
To get a MM card in AZ, you need a bunch of things sorted out. First, you need a "qualifying condition" for approval. This includes chronic pain, glaucoma, wasting syndrome (Chrone's disease I think), HIV, blah blah blah. My particular condition, which is general depression as a result of being a human being, and significant panic attacks, don't qualify. So I had to make shit up.
I went to the office, which was very nice. I like design, and the design of things like shapes, colors, and orientation of objects like furniture in space really appealed to me. Not surprisingly, they went with a green theme, with a nice color contrast and straight black chairs with clean square edges. Modern, thoughtful, and cozy. And the entire place smelled like raw weed.
I had to show my AZ driver license, then fill out a form, then sit and wait. The first person I talked to was not a doctor, and I'm unsure why I had to go through this step. She asked me why I was looking to get a MM card. I said, "Oh because my back hurts." She asked me specifics, like where in my back, how often, what I had tried already to help with this, yaddy yaddy. She even asked me to stand up and twist to the right and describe my pain. "Oh," I said, as convincingly as possible. "Right here..." I pointed behind my back and squeezed my eyes. "Yep, that's it." She scribbled notes. Then she ushered me to the actual doctor, after suggesting that I take some capsules that have a bunch of black pepper and some herb like turmeric or something. I intentionally silenced my laugh.
The actual doctor was a super-friendly Muslim women who had a very gentle and positive demeanor. She spent most of her time doing paperwork and asking me questions while doing her paperwork. She asked me to stand up again and try to touch my feet and then explain where the pain was and I said "oh here, here" and she wrote something down and then she eventually said,
"At this point I'm going to approve you for medical marijuana in the state of Arizona." Again, I almost laughed. This is such a joke.
I had to pay $250 to get the process going. I've already received a confirmation email from the state that the $150 fee to register has been successfully processed.
Now I wait, and contemplate what Gracie said earlier. She might be on to something. I don't know. I think I'll know for sure after I experiment with some different strains.
Updates soon. Cheers,