Guy W. Farmer: Medical marijuana and Girl Scout cookies

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal

Reno’s alternative weekly, the Reno News & Review, recently published a four-page primer on what we can expect when the first “medical” marijuana dispensary opens in Carson City later this year or early next year. I put “medical” between quote marks because I don’t think marijuana smoke is medicine, and I’m not alone in that belief since most responsible doctors agree with me.

The RNR spread provides information about two medical pot shops that have opened in Reno in recent weeks. Basically, the articles provide free advertising for Reno’s first pot shop — excuse me, “cannabis dispensary” — the Sierra Wellness Connection. We’re told the dispensary “offers a variety of rigorously tested, high quality cannabis strains, and a wide assortment of useful merchandise,” like bongs and assorted pot paraphernalia.

And not only that, Sierra Wellness is owned by people “who have shown a conscious and dedicated commitment to the quality of life in Northern Nevada.” People like popular former UNR President Dr. Joe Crowley, who asserts “cannabis is helping ‘patients’ survive and thrive despite the symptoms of various diseases.” OK, that’s enough free publicity.

Despite all of that high-minded verbiage, I still don’t think marijuana smoke is medicine because if it was it would be prescribed by real doctors and dispensed at pharmacies. At present, weed is recommended by “marijuana doctors” who charge $100 or more for a permission slip, not a prescription. You tell Dr. Reefer you have a headache and he gives you a piece of paper that allows you to buy medical pot.

The RNR published some ads that give us an idea of the diseases marijuana purportedly alleviates or cures. These include AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, cachexia, muscle spasms, seizures, severe nausea, severe pain, autism, multiple sclerosis and PTSD. All of these claims are anecdotal, however, because no controlled lab tests have been conducted to determine whether marijuana smoke actually has any effect on these diseases.

Apparently, pot smoke makes you feel good. Here’s firsthand testimony from RNR writer Nick Miller: “I’ve used pot less than a handful of times over the past few years,” he writes, “but starting tonight I’ll be getting high every evening for the next seven days.” Woo hoo, but what does that have to do with medicine?

“Pot will melt away stress (and) tuck you into bed for eternal slumber,” Miller declares, adding “stoners have a bad reputation for being lazy, but getting high every day was a commitment.” Yes, I can imagine getting high every day requires a certain amount of perseverance and dedication to a higher calling.

Miller then supplies a helpful guide to which strains of medical marijuana will allegedly alleviate or cure what ails you. Here’s his rundown:

Girl Scout Cookies (No, I’m not making this up): “This strain . . . is supposed to relieve stress with its intense euphoria (and) it’s one of those pot highs that makes you think you’re hilarious,” when you’re not.

Blue Dreams: says this strain is supposed to offer “gentle cerebral invigoration,” but “ is full of crap . . . because I feel like I’m going to die from cerebral overload.” OK, on to the next medicine.

OG Kush: “This strain delivers a high similar to Girl Scout Cookies. . . . The dishwater is warm like Hawaiian tides. I never want the dishwashing to end.”

Well, you get the idea. Medical pot isn’t about medicine; it’s about getting high. And that’s what awaits us here when we welcome pot shops to the state capital. Let’s put Sheriff Ken Furlong and his deputies on high alert.

Guy W. Farmer worked on anti-drug programs in seven countries.


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