Will Wooton: Easy for kids to obtain medical marijuana cards

By Will Wooton

In the last year I’ve seen more and more kids with medical marijuana cards. I asked each of them how they got it and I could not believe what I was told. Again and again I would hear how simple the process was to get a card and what the kids are doing with it.

Will Wooton

I had to see myself what was true and what was just an exaggeration. So we at Pacific Treatment Services sent out one of our counselors to see if he could get a medical marijuana card. What documents would he need? How many medical exams would he go through? What real assessment were done? I was shocked to see how little it took.

Grant Glidewell has worked with me for over 10 years. He has a perfect reputation in San Diego and has helped hundreds of teens recover from substance abuse. Grant’s goal was to go and see two physicians and how hard the process was to get his medical card — with only his California driver’s license.

Arriving at the first doctor’s office, he completed a one-page questionnaire with a series of medical conditions in a checklist form. These ranged from pain, sleep issues, depression, anxiety, lack of appetite, and so on. Grant chose sleep issues as don’t we all, from time to time, have issues sleeping? The doctor took one look at his checklist form and said he was an ideal candidate for medical marijuana. No questions about past history or health. No asking had he tried exercise or maybe less caffeine in a day. Basically nothing asked — just statements about how much better his life would be if he used marijuana; in fact the doctor used it himself to sleep. After 10 minutes, Grant has his first card and was off to the next doctor’s office.

The second doctor’s office was no better. Grant was greeted when he arrived by a young man selling marijuana in the front office (in addition to pipes and bongs) and walked him to a back office. There was a computer set up and online, via Skype, was a doctor. He never indicated where he was but clearly he was not in the office building. Again, the doctor did not ask questions that you would expect from a physician being seen for medical recommendations. Grant walked out with his second medical marijuana card in less than 10 minutes.

At each location, along with his medical card, Grant was given a sheet of papers explaining medical marijuana and the laws. Both papers had different information as to the amount he could legally possess and how much he could legally grow at home. Both papers stated that if he had up to eight ounces of marijuana for personal use, he was within California law.

These types of pathetic medical practices are directly affecting kids. I have worked and talked with teens who, once they have their medical card, use it as a way to deal to high schools. Older teens are literally taking orders throughout the morning. Delivery services for marijuana (brought to your location) is the new rage — simply order online or via a phone call. Give them your card number and within 30 minutes someone will deliver. Teens are driving off campus with the daily orders, meeting these delivery vehicles in parking lots or fast food restaurants, and picking up what the younger kids ordered that morning.

I don’t care if you are for or against medical marijuana — this is a flawed system. Any other medication must be handled with regulations so why have we looked the other way with marijuana? This type of loophole only hurts the population who may truly need it for medical purposes. The good doctors who follow ethical codes are sadly lumped in with this type of bad medicine. Delivery services need to end or to be treated like pharmacy deliveries.

If this activity was being done with any other prescriptions, the FBI and DEA would be all over it. Yet, because of dirty doctors and little to no regulations, kids have yet again found a way to take advantage and introduce it into schools.

Wooton is director of Pacific Treatment Services and co-author of “Bring Your Teen Back From The Brink.” PTS is a substance abuse company working with teens and young adults. Website: www.PacificTreatmentServices.com. Reader comments, through letters to the editor or online at pomeradonews.com, are encouraged.

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Posted by Staff on May 8 2013. Filed under Columnists. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

11 Comments for “Will Wooton: Easy for kids to obtain medical marijuana cards”

  1. Janet Myers

    Is this true that teens are selling to students with cards? I cant believe that this is happening. Why cant my sons school (Rancho Bernard) be more aggressive. Mr. Wooton do you work with the schools or can you help us parents know what to do? This seems all so hopeless.

  2. tina

    I think that this is part of the drug culture that we are submerged in, I myself have been to my own medical doctor to discuss issues with health problems, and instead of having a conversation about nutrition, exercise, or meditation, I was steered immediately towards a prescription to solve all my ills. If we are talking about a flawed system for medical marijuana, perhaps the conversation should start with the system that perpetuates the idea that you need drugs (illegal or not) to cure what is wrong.

  3. Garrett

    Easy access to drugs makes the whole system a joke. These seems to be no forethought and no attention paid to current issues. This program needs serious repair!

  4. Dawn

    I'm shocked kids are able to get a prescription for marijuana. I can see how it could help a cancer patient in chemo, but sleeping issues and anxiety? Isn't paranoia a side effect of marijuana? I think it's all an excuse to get high if someone using it for anything other than glaucoma, cancer, or HIV/AIDS. Just call it what it is and don't parade around the idea that it somehow helps you function in daily life better.

    • John

      Paranoia isn't a side effect of marijuana, it's a side effect of the law AGAINST marijuana. If it were completely legal then there would be no reason to be paranoid.

  5. Duncan20903

    Well you know, it's beyond absurd to blame the Compassionate Use Act. That is, unless you're foolish enough to believe that there wouldn't be any cannabis available had that law not been passed. We sure didn't need any medical marijuana laws when I was a kid.

    There's only one way to amend a law implemented by citizen generated ballot initiative in California, and that's with another citizen generated ballot initiative. It's really simple, you work up the proposed law you want. That'll only be a few hundred hours with a lawyer at perhaps $300/hour. You submit it to the Secretary of State who will reject it. Then another 100 hours with your lawyers, back to the S.O.S. and finally you get authorized to collect the needed signature to get it on the ballot. It was just over 500,000 in 2012. To be safe you'll have to colect nearly a million, because people like me will sign your petition with a phony name because we don't like morons. You have at most 150 days to collect your signatures and they have to be collected in various parts of the State. Volunteer effort very rarely collect enough signatures so you'd better put aside another $3 million for that. Presuming that you do, all that's left is to talk 50%+1 voter into voting in favor of forcing sick people to suffer more than needed. What's the problem? Only about 80% of the voters in California are in favor of the Compassionate Use Act.

    Assuming that you manage to bring your pipe dream to reality, there's only one other problem…you live in Southern California and cannabis just isn't going away. Perhaps if you people had a clue you might be able to do something, but even that isn't very likely as long as you think that force is the appropriate way to deal with your objections. If you really don't want your kids to choose to enjoy cannabis perhaps you should ask the Dutch how they manage to have 1/3 the youth use of the United States.

    Good luck folks, you're going to need it!

  6. Amy Roost

    While I do believe that cannabis is effective at treating certain ailments such migraines and pain and nausea associated with cancer and treatment, it's never been a secret that the strategy all along was to use the medical marijuana as a stepping stone toward legalization for recreational use AND medical use.

    I have a good friend and family member who both have legitimate ailments and both benefit greatly from marijuana use. One was able to replace the use of prescribed opiates with marijuana.

    As far as kids being able to get MM cards, it is my understanding that anyone under the age of 18 needs parental consent??

    Also, I think the issue of obtaining the marijuana and introducing it to the schools are separate issues. Many kids who are able obtain (either thru a clinic or on the street) don't necessarily deal or use it at school.

    The bottom line is that marijuana is not healthy for kids. Adults? Well that's a different question. It may not be healthy but can be less unhealthy than say alcohol or certain prescription drugs. I think we have an obligation to protect our children until they are adults and then let them decide for themselves what they want to introduce to their bodies without the government's input.

    And force is in NO way the answer to dealing with children or adults who find themselves abusing marijuana, any more than force would not be the answer to treating an alcoholic. The fact that one is illegal and the other legal doesn't change the efficacy of treatment.

    • Poway mom

      Actually the one statement that I disagree with is that the cards are obtained to introduce it into schools. The amount of marijuana in schools is staggering as is the amount of kids stoned in classes. They get much of this from Medical marijuana cards that they illegally obtain. Go look on Instagram and Facebook there are tons of kids that take pictures of their pot and card proudly for the world to see. It's a badge of honor and they can easily sell it at school. Medical cards and schools are very much related. I have actually been in a classroom where the question was asked "how many people here know of someone that has a medical marijuana card illegally and under 18? Half the hands went up.

      • Amy Roost

        I wasn't saying it doesn't happen. I know it does. I'm only saying the two issues should be addressed separately. Medical marijuana cards should not be distributed to kids. Kids should not have or be using marijuana in school. You could fix the first problem, but still have the second to deal with because marijuana is available from places other than clinics.

  7. John

    Fully legalize it and we'd have nothing to worry about.

  8. Deborah Thames

    I was surprised to see this happening. To think that they are readily available is amazing. It certainly makes the whole issue appear a bit of a joke, that is for sure.

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