Field Trip: The pot store, pt. 2

la-confidentialThis ain’t your dad’s marijuana. At least it certainly ain’t my dad’s marijuana. This stuff I got is far more potent than anything I’ve ever had before. It doesn’t smell like it, it doesn’t taste like it, it doesn’t even look like it. When I opened the packet, I was met with a heady aroma, floral and sweet and spicy. Inside the packets were tight buds of pale olive green with strands of bright red woven through them. Definitely not the baggie of stems and seeds and shake that I grew up with.

I’ve written and rewritten this part of the story several times. After about two weeks of investigation and testing, I’m still not sure if it’s doing what I want it to. I was hoping for a slam-dunk, a “Wow, this stuff is amazing!” moment. I was hopeful that at the very least, it would ease the painful and random Charlie-horse leg cramps that keep me awake most nights, and maybe even help me get off the drugs I take for insomnia. I was hoping to be amazed.

What I’ve found is that in the two weeks that I’ve been smoking it before bed (and often again during the night), I’m having much less cramping. Not no cramping, but fewer episodes, and less intense. Nothing amazing, but it’s better. Nothing else I tried made a dent – not stretching, not medications, not “eat a banana before bed.” Cannabis has not eradicated this problem, but it is much better. I will need to go back to The Store to talk with the pot-istas and the experts, and see if we can fine-tune the product, but for now, I’m happy with the results. I’ve enjoyed doing the research and field testing – no hardship there.

In the meantime, I’ll just be holed up in my laboratory continuing my scientific investigations. Let’s hope The Man doesn’t get all up in our business.
560Click here to buy my t-shirt! Show the world you’ve got spoons. 100% cotton t-shirt is perfect for summer. Wear it everywhere! Original artwork by Val Sivilli. 50% of profits go directly to the National MS Society.

 

Field Trip: The Pot Store, Part 1

iuIf you had told me back in the day I would walk into a nice clean store on Main Street, and legally buy marijuana, I would’ve told you that you’d been smoking too much of your own product. In a former lifetime, when I was a recreational user, the idea of pot being legal – in any sense of the word – was a George Carlin comedy routine. So, when I finally got to my local marijuana store, after acquiring the official state license ($150 and a phone call), it was a bit of a surreal experience. A little Twilight Zone-ian.

 

After passing through mildly tight security (they buzz you into the lobby from the street, and then into the actual store after showing your official marijuana card and a photo ID), I found myself in a retail space that felt like an upscale book store. I sat down in a side room with a nice young man (Jeff?) to go over the menu. We talked about my previous experience with marijuana, and as we talked all about the different strains, Indica versus Sativa, the various cookies, or “Medibles” (lemon crinkle, gingersnap and peanut butter chocolate chip), I waxed nostalgic about the olden days of buying who knew what kind of pot in a Ziploc baggie from a friend of a friend. “This is all different,” Jeff assured me, the cannabis (as they prefer to call it) is now all carefully grown and graded and cleaned and packaged. He helped me make my selections – 1g each of LA Confidential and M.O.B. – and released me to the sales floor.

 

There was a lounge area with a few tables and chairs and soft indirect lighting. Not a smoking room (no smoking of any kind!), like a Christian Science Reading Room. Separated by a bookshelf room divider, the other side of the room was where the actual business transactions took place. I waited in line for my number to be flashed up on the overhead display, just like waiting your turn at the deli counter. There was the “Everyday Value Menu” and the day’s specials. When my turn came, I stepped up to the counter and I gave my “Pot-ista,” my order. She came back with two hermetically sealed plastic packages with my very own medical marijuana in them. I paid (cash only as The Man does not allow credit card transactions for this particular product line), they put my cannabis in a little shopping bag, along with a glass pipe I purchased (one stop shopping!), and a folder with a copy of the menu and some other promotional materials.

 

And off I went! I had just made my first mostly legal (it’s still illegal according to federal law) purchase of medical marijuana. The kids back in 1976 would never believe this. Brave new world.

 

Stay tuned for my product review in Part 2.

 

So that happened…

A funny commentary on where I live: I can’t get a pizza delivered to my house, but I can get marijuana right to my door. I got a refill yesterday, and slept better last night than I have in a long time. My Caregiver is going to make me up a sample of a tincture, which he says delivers all the muscle relaxing benefit of marijuana without messing up my head. It might seem strange to ingest marijuana without wanting get high, but my head is messed up enough on it’s own.

And so this happened. I got up on Monday to find a numbness in my right hand, localized in my forefinger and thumb. It persisted all morning, and then was gone. Yesterday, there was a strange sort of moiré pattern in the left side of my vision. Not in one eye or the other, and I still saw it when I closed my eyes. It slowly got worse, and I thought here comes another bout of optic neuritis. But then it was gone mid-morning. This morning, when I got up, it felt like my left foot was asleep – numb and tingly. Here at 10am, it is just starting to fade. So, that happened.

I guess I need to call my neuro. We’ve all agreed that I have been in Secondary Progressive for years, but I have not had any new symptoms for a long time. So to have these three distinctly different things – separated in time and space – has me a little concerned. Isn’t MS fun? Keeps you guessing!

I also signed up the other day for Medicare, switching from private insurance to a Part C, HMO style Medicare plan. I’m ready, 2014!

A new kind of farmer’s market

Deidre Finley owns a small spread not far from Tacoma, Washington. Not huge, just 11 acres, with a nursery where she had planned to pursue a business in ornamental plants. But as the local economy changed, the market for such luxuries dried up. Finley looked into several other means to make her living from the land, including a doggy day care and simply renting out the property. But nothing worked out to allow her to stay on her acreage.

She settled finally on her Plan B – a medical marijuana farm. After extensive research, both of farming techniques and legal matters, MMJ Universe was born. Working closely with other growers and vendors in the area, most notably Kind Alternative Medical Co. Finley finds herself operating a lively and thriving medical marijuana farmer’s market. Amidst the greenhouse and garden, live music plays while customers – granted access only after careful scrutiny of their paperwork and identification – can shop for “produce,” gifts, and other products that they need. Says Finley,  “It’s a win-win to find something where you can help people. It’s so heartwarming to see people come in with braces and canes and walkers and just find relief.”

Read more about MMJ Universe, at Enumclaw Patch.