State of Colorado Medical Marijuana red card or license

“Patients,” previously known as “people,” must present their State of Colorado-issued red cards each time they visit a dispensary. Red cards must be renewed annually. A yearly doctor’s recommendation must also be obtained.

I am not a patient.


And that’s okay.

I didn’t consciously let State of Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry license #MMRB00244 lapse.

But it did. A family emergency took me away from Colorado for a month — the time it takes between a physician certifying that you’re ill enough to rate a red card and the Registry rubberstamping your transmutation from person to patient complete.

Strangely enough, now that I’m back in The Mile High City, I haven’t felt a pressing need to renew my membership in the privileged club. In fact, I’ve resolved not to.

You may be wondering why someone in their right mind would turn down admission to a club where buxom budtenders serve Cannabis Cup-winning delicacies on a silver platter. Well …

At the same time I was writing cautionary tales about the perils of statewide MMJ initiatives and patient rights, I was gushing over all the exotic strains that were available to me at dispensaries — wonderweed I could purchase for one reason only: I’d signed on the dotted line to be “patiented.”

My subconscious must have recognized a classic case of “having my cake and eating it too.” The duality wasn’t sitting well with me — a guy who smells hypocrisy a mile away and regularly chides guy ‘n gals, groups, and governments for dishing it out.

So then, do I get to be a hypocrite but they don’t? Er … well … uh … what I feel about that is:

If someone writes voluminously about all the hypocrisy swirling around the magical weed — like I do — that writer would be wise to eliminate the exact same failing from his own life.

I certainly hadn’t done anything of the kind. I was still pigging out at at the same smorgasbords I routinely denounced … although I was feeling increasingly uneasy about it. If I wanted to free my mind, only one sequence of action made any sense:

  1. Looking in the mirror
  2. Highlighting the hypocritical behavior
  3. Hitting Delete

I did and thankfully I’ve survived the unburdening relatively intact. Having successfully shed hypocrisy, I’m free to  pursue global legalization with a clear conscience.

Speaking of pigging out, I feel a whole lot better that the Colorado Department of Revenue no longer tags me as Patient #MMRB00244 — which is basically the same drill as the Department of Agriculture tagging the porker below Pig #3154.

a pig with ear tags

Pigging out at the same smorgasbords you denounce is pretty hypocritical.

In case you’re new to these “pages,” you may be wondering how, why, and where someone forms an unpopular notion like there’s something unsettling about the State of Colorado referring to persons as patients. Other patients aren’t bitching about their entitled status, are they? Nope: most of ’em feel that as long as they have their “safe access to meds,” all is right with the world, and who cares whether anyone in Georgia has to ask a friend of a friend of a friend if they know where there’s any dirt weed?

Uh, I do, for one. That would be the crux of the issue.

Personally, I prefer the sound of “we we we” to the tone of “me me me.”

That’s why patientude rankled me so much.

Of course, I’m around patients more than most people, living as I do in The Queen City of the Plains which has about 75,000 of them. I rub shoulders with them everywhere I go. Not being nearly as obsessed as my fellow Coloradans with the National Football League, or the love lives of celebrities, I’ve had ample time to cannalyze the medical marijuana phenomenon.

My conclusion, in a sentence:

Confronting quasi-legalization on a daily basis has convinced me that the preferred road map for maximizing cannajobs, cannatax, and the cannabiz is not medical marijuana for patients, it’s marijuana for persons.

Regular readers know I haven’t been at all shy about expressing that contrarian viewpoint — though it swims against the current.

So, yeah, I feel the term “patient” should be reserved for folks in ICUs, not healthy-enough college students in Boulder who are “I”s from CU.

And my reward for opting out of patientude?

I’m out in the cold, scratching and clawing like every other non-patient.

That’s the bad news. It’s definitely a heavy blow.

I have a hard time thinking about anything in the quality of life department better than being able to walk three blocks in two minutes and buy retail pot in a vibrant marketplace where hundreds of dispensaries compete for my affection with ever higher quality and ever lower pricing.

The good news is that this pot-deprived perch is an enhanced vantage point to stick up for the 98% of Americans not served by statewide MMJ amendments, not to mention the billions of Earthlings facing anything from severe consequences to firing squads for daring to express cannalove in The Rest of the World.

If I’m going to bat for herbal rights over patient rights ― and there’s no way I’m sitting that drama out― my patient rights had to be sacrificed.

Do I have any reservations about standing up for my principles, Why, yes!

Will I miss being able to drive five minutes to The Clinic, one of the finest dispensaries on god’s green earth, to select from their jaw-dropping assortment of top-shelf offerings? In the scholarly parlance of Sarah Palin, “You betcha!”

Will I miss stoneathons like The Cannabis Cup? That, too.

Will I be sorely tempted to relent and apply for another red card? Unless I can successfully transcend lust, longing, and desire … probably so.

But it is what it is.

Perhaps if Colorado Amendment 64, the referendum supposedly about treating marijuana like alcohol and tobacco — you can only carry an ounce of it while you can push around a wheelbarrow full of Jack Daniels and Camels — passes, it may be the end of patientude as we know it … and I can go back to transacting at retail shops.

[Update 11/08/2012: it passed. But no one can buy recreational buds till January, 2014, at least, and the State hasn’t had a chance to sort out where they’ll be available. More on this soon.]

Until then, I’ll scavenge for prerolls like a pig foraging for truffles. Of course, I’ve always thought there was something noble about that porcine pursuit; I’m okay with rooting around like our hunter/gatherer forebears.

It is what it is.

No red card, no cry.

electric painting of rasta man bob marley

For anyone who doesn’t know or couldn’t guess, this post was inspired by Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry.” I interviewed him in the 70’s, when I was editor of Rocky Mountain Musical Express. He was talking about his new BMW. I asked him if a BMW wasn’t a little bourgeois for a humble rasta man like himself. His response: “No, mon. BMW? That stand for Bob Marley and the Wailers!” —LK