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.
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.