Pubdate: Thu, 01 Apr 2010
Source: Boulder Weekly (CO)
Copyright: 2010 Boulder Weekly
Author: Robert Kyle Ussery


Anyone living in Boulder is no stranger to the medical marijuana
dispensary phenomenon that has been unfolding recently. While the
current situation is certainly a step in the right direction towards
drug policy reform, prefacing all things marijuana with the term
"medical" is a bit irking.

Personally I enjoy, and have enjoyed, recreationally smoking marijuana
for years. But as young, perfectly healthy co-workers, friends and
neighbors retrieve their medical cards for things like chronic pain,
or sleep apnea, I often ask myself who they are fooling.

Of course, there are patients who greatly benefit from the service,
but unfortunately all of the "patients" I know, understandably, just
like to get high. While obtaining the privilege of buying exotic
strands of organic, locally grown grass from a storefront is certainly
alluring, the principle of lying to a doctor seems foolish. I suppose
it's a silly moral pedestal to stand on, thinking back to the days of
being terrified to drive with a gram of marijuana in my possession,
but for now it feels valid.

The economic gain is certainly notable. Local papers can surely attest
to the rise in advertising, the tax dollars don't hurt either, and no
one working for a dispensary is complaining. But I can't help but
wonder if the original proponents of the medical marijuana movement,
and the patients who truly need it, feel a dishonor to their cause
when they open the paper to trendy, tie-dyed dispensary ads with hip
and marketable business names. If suddenly the local paper was riddled
with pharmaceutical ads and pharmacies were being built at the rate
dispensaries are, it is likely that the reception wouldn't be so hot.
It is my hope that "medical" dispensaries are just a necessary
formality towards complete legalization, a way of easing the public in

So while I continue to illegally enjoy a puff now and again, I will
wait patiently for legalization to appear on the ballot and hope that
when it does, it passes.

Robert Kyle Ussery/Boulder
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