I think I'm going to do it.
Apparently here in Nevada, we're not bright enough to make up all our own rules. We sponge a lot of them off of California. For example: I had to replace my water heater a few months ago. Since I bought a foreclosure, I sprung some cash on a warranty for everything in my home. It replaced my water heater, but I was responsible for the $700 to make it up to the same code as a California water heater. My water heater can survive a 8.0 earthquake now. That'll come in handy...
As a result of our lack of self governance, we've got a medical marijuana (MMJ) law here that is similar to California's (even though this is a bright red state). It's funny to think that Reid's home state is really republican, but it's true. I know Limbaugh fans who think our newspaper is too conservative. We've got one key difference in our MMJ, it's technically not legal to sell marijuana. We can grow it and possess it, but you can't sell it. We can't even legally sell seeds or cloned plants to grow. 'Altruistic' parties need to donate to us.
In the last year, there have been a couple dozen dispensaries that will 'donate' weed to you if you have your MMJ license. You leave a 'donation' of a specific amount of cash to their 'non-profit' organization so it can continue. While clearly violating the spirit of the law, it satisfies the letter. It's such a stretch, in fact, that these dispenaries could likely be prosecuted. The customers, however, have no legal liability. It's only illegal to sell MMJ.
I honestly think MMJ is a no brainer. My wife just had friends in town from Texas. Their 21 year old son just beat (hopefully) lymphoma. The chemo is particularly tough for liquid cancers like lymphoma and luekemia. The only thing that helped this kid with nausia before, during, and after chemo was lots of weed of an insanely high quality. With no MMJ law in Texas, this was tough to do and required his parents to associate with people who might also sell meth, crack, and human slaves (for all they know). That's bullshit.
I however, don't have lymphoma. For the most part, I just like to smoke pot sometimes. I do, however, have several medical problems that would allow me to get my license. I've got chronic back pain. I have arthritis in my neck. Also, my scoliosis, sports injuries, and car accidents have taken a toll on my back and I've got some disc problems. I've never met anybody who's been happy with their back surgeries (both of my parents included) so I'm going to go as long as I can before I allow myself to go under the knife.
I have constant... I mean CONSTANT back pain. It hurts every minute of every day in my life. On a scale of 1-10, usually it's only between 3 and 4. Sometimes it flares up to around 5 or 6 if I'm being hard on it (like helping somebody move). A couple times a year, I have what my wife calls 'an episode.' For several days, my pain is extreme. Once I had to lay down in the driveway (Texas in July in direct sunlight... fire ants on the move) until my wife came outside to look for me. Episodes aside, most people don't appreciate what it's like to have mild to moderate daily pain. I've been told I make a funny face every time I get out of the car. Sorry... it fucking hurts.
Today I'm going to call Dr. Reefer. It's a local service that facilitates the MMJ application process.
1) It costs $60 for them to request your paperwork.
2) You talk to their doctor (Dr. Reefer isn't actually a medical doctor, but he does employ one). If you bring medical proof of your problem, the consultation costs $200. It you need a diagnosis on the spot, it costs $300. It's my understanding that you actually DO need to have one of the issues on the hotlist to get your $300 diagnosis. You can't get your card for a bullshit reason.
3) You immediately get a temporary license for up to one ounce, 4 immature plants, and 3 mature plants.
4) When your paperwork comes in from Carson City, Dr. Reefer calls you up. You get fingerprinted and have to pay for a criminal background check. If you've ever been convicted of any drug crime, you're denied. This costs about $200.
5) If approved, you set an appointment with the DMV to get your laminated license in 30-45 days.
6) You have to renew your license once a year for $60.
How much does Dr. Reefer make on this process? I checked to see how much I'd save if I did it myself. Actually... he's not getting much. I'd have to go all over hell getting fingerprinted, going to notaries, and sending off paperwork. That's not even worth doing for the $30 or so I'd save. He makes his money off of dispensaries. Oh... excuse me... he only gets donations at his dispensaries. He also has businesses in California and Colorado.
After all that, it will be legal for me to use, possess, and grow marijuana. Hopefully it'll be a matter of time before local dispensaries will be able to get business licenses and start paying taxes instead of being bullshit non-profits. If I drive under the influence of marijuana, I'll face the same DUI laws as anybody else. But if I'm pulled over and it's in my car, it's no problem. I don't lose my teaching job. I don't go to jail. I don't have CPS fuck with my kids.
I've got some mild, moral issues with what I'm doing. I look at people with AIDS and cancer arguing for MMJ and understand that I'm not like them. I've got advil and vicoden to take care of the majority of my problems. Advil fucks with my stomach and I don't like taking vicoden. I do like to smoke weed daily though. Am I using my legitimate back problem as an excuse to have access to some of the most amazing weed on the planet?
Here's an example of what they've got in mason jars at the local dispensary for about $100/quarter: http://www.ebaumsworld.com/pictures/view/81052930/
I have a 4:40 appointment to get my medical referral and my temporary MMJ license.