“The state is so desperate for money they will be soon making headaches and hangnails eligible for the medical marijuana. granted there are people that can benefit from marijuana but some are just trying to get their pot legally to smoke for the high.” -A retired US Coast Guard Captain, the most recent commenter on a Crain’s Chicago Business news article about cannabis in Chicago.
So what? Cannabis is safer than advil. Check the deaths associated with each, or lack thereof. Let me use cannabis for headaches, it works well. It seems like Illinois is going to need people like me, who recognize cannabis as a helpful medicine for daily aches and pains. Getting approved for a medical cannabis card must be in high demand, because the Illinois Government Website states in all caps, “DO NOT SEND AN APPLICATION NOW.” The Illinois State website then explains:
“On October 7, the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board recommended 8 conditions and diseases that should be added to the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. However, before patient registration applications can be accepted for any new conditions or diseases, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) must approve recommendations made by the Board, and IDPH must adopt administrative rules to add those conditions and diseases.”
If the IDPH approves the new recommendations and urgent plea by the board of experts “to put our politics and social agendas aside and boil it down to what matters most, which is easing human suffering,” then it’s likely I could obtain a recommendation for the chronic pain I have from a spinal injury at work more than a decade ago. It doesn’t sound like the arthritis I have in both hands from years of construction work will be an approved ailment to receive a medical cannabis card, but the situation is fluid and evolving. The thing cannabis actually helps me with the most is anxiety. If I can find a reasonable doctor who will take into consideration my anxiety, spinal injury, and arthritis, I’m hopeful I can become official. Of the 3200 medical cannabis recommendations written by 1200 doctors in Illinois, one single doctor has single handedly written nearly a third of them. So maybe THAT is the doctor I need to find. I can’t understand how the 3200 people currently approved to use cannabis in Illinois are going to support this huge program that has cultivation centers and dispensaries across the state. Aren’t the dispensary owners worried that such a slim pool of potential customers is a available to make their shops successful? You need hoards of regular people who find cannabis helpful in daily life to start up a program meant to ease the extreme suffering experienced by those with rare, debilitating, painful conditions. Now that I’m in it, and have been investigating for myself, it feels like certain politicians in Illinois want this program to fail.
Once I obtained and used a Pur Extracts cartridge for the first time, I found that it helped with anxiety more than I’ve ever felt before. I thought it could be a coincidence but as I began learning about terpenes, or “terps,” I realized there WAS probably some anxiety relief coming from using the oil. Terps are the component that makes this Super Lemon Haze sativa oil taste so good, but also seem to have a medicinal quality (videos below)
Interesting angles and lighting kept catching my attention which had me on and off the bike all night. I flew north up the Lakefront Trail, getting horny over this Heavy Hearted in Doldrums album. “Antwon eat the whole fuckin ass out, word.” There was lusty action happening in my earpiece, but also on this docked boat, which had red and blue neon mood lighting. Naked shoulders and shadowy heads kept passionately popping up into view, but would then disappear.
The following night I set out to make a giant loop around the city, with a stop at The Healing Clinic, 1443 W Belmont. I had @oddCouple in my ear to keep me company, and rode around singing “because I feel it’s just a matter of time, before these people make me lose my mind.” The Healing Clinic’s webpage states that they can “assist qualifying patients in obtaining a Medical Cannabis Registration Card which allows them to purchase, possess and use medical marijuana in the state of Illinois.” There’s not much to see, so I hung around the storefront, which appears to basically be a waiting room where you chill before your consultation. I hopped back on the Lakefront Trail and rode to Oak St Beach where some people were watching the waves crash. I talked to them for a while and got my cycling shoes nicely loaded with sand before heading to work.
DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg found it in himself to admit heroin is more harmful than cannabis, but says it should remain a schedule 1 drug. “If we come up with a medical use for it, that would be wonderful. But we haven’t,” he proclaims. Once again, I find myself having a hard time taking any government official seriously after hearing that.
After reading the discouraging comments from the DEA Chief, I had to include this TED Talk with Zachary Walsh where he talks about how porous the barriers can be between well-being, health, and pleasure. In the video, he questions where you draw the line on medicinal vs recreational use, and who decides which is which. He says, “There are people out there who have conditions that respond very well to cannabis based medicines, and they might still use cannabis a lot of the time because they like the way it makes them feel. There are also people who might not think of themselves as medical users, but they get substantial symptom relief from using cannabis.”
Some newspaper articles have made statements about dispensaries being “ready to open in a few weeks,” but I’ve visited many locations and can see that it’s much farther away. I deal with inspectors every day, and the process can be frustrating if you don’t have a longstanding relationship. With the strict regulations Illinois has set in place, most dispensaries probably won’t be operational until 2016. The state has fallen way below its estimate of having 100,000 people ready to buy cannabis as the first crops of the sweet cheebah are being harvested and dried in cultivation centers. I sit hopeful that we can get this moving and eventually have this plant legalized like it should be.