License to smoke

By Mary Rose Fissinger

Dean’s* ’11 18th birthday was a notable one. Officially an adult, he could now vote, buy lottery tickets and obtain a medical marijuana card – the latter of which he did, that very day. He went to Michael Morris, MD, in Westwood, who specifically consults for medical marijuana usage and provides prescriptions for cards. Dean had his card prescribed for his chronic elbow pain, though the list of ailments that can merit the use of medical marijuana is extensive.

Proposition 215, also called the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, was passed “to ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to…use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate… by a physician who has determined that the person’s health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.”

Dean paid $140 for his card, which he may now use at any medical marijuana dispensary in the state of California.

“You can either get your card for one year or two,” Dean said. “I got mine for one because of college next year. I don’t know if I’ll still be in California.”

He picks up marijuana about once a week. He takes his card to a dispensary, where they check to make sure it’s valid, and then he can buy up to three ounces at a time of any of the 20 or 30 strains they usually have.

“It actually really helps [with my elbow pain], though that’s not the sole reason I use it,” Dean admits.

Scott* ’11 also got his medical marijuana card from Dr. Morris.

“They’re not hard to get,” he said. “I just filled out a form and then he took my blood pressure, and that was pretty much it.”

Scott had his card prescribed for anxiety, and he said he uses it for the “therapeutic effects.”

His favorite dispensaries are Buds & Roses and MMRC, both located near school on Ventura Blvd.

Both Dean and Scott enjoy the fact that it is not against the law for them to possess marijuana.

“If I’m going to smoke marijuana, I want to do it legally,” Dean said. “You can’t get arrested for it, so that’s always a good thing.”