I have been an official medical marijuana patient since February 12, 2015; I still remember the day I got my card like it was two months ago.
A vinyl banner with the words 420 Med Evaluations was really the only sign of this being a medical practitioners office. I walk in to what was clearly a retro-fitted mobile home/office 10 minutes before the office hours were set to close and there was already one person in line. To my surprise the secretary gave me the two sheets of paperwork I needed to fill out.
5 minutes til closing the girl waiting in ahead of me goes in.
3 minutes til closing the girl comes out. The "doctor" calls me in.
This does not look like the place one would willingly go unless you were under the impression you were going in to a porn shoot. The faux black leather couch was unnerving as was the man behind the desk. On each of his plump tanned fingered a silver ring with some kind of imbedded stone represented his cultural pride. His black polo shirt unbuttoned one too many buttons; his gold chain shifts forward as he opens my file to review my qualifications. "Back pain" and "difficulty sleeping" is what I went with.
Doctor Hoffman turns out not only to be a real doctor, but an informed one, well, at least in one topic. He first went over the uses of the plant and the different strains of cannabis - sativa, indica, and hybrid. He gave me this useful reference for the type I'd want with my 'condition': "Indica, for In-da-couch". The topic he explicitly covered was on Cannabidiol (CBD) and how strains high in CBD are used to treat pain. "Now if you're looking for something that can just ease pain without the psychoactive effects, there are topicals that you can use. They won't give you any kind of head high, just help the pain in your upper back." He followed up with a helpful chart explaining edibles vs. smoking and plethora of information on something I thought I knew everything about.
The conclusion: Dr. Hoffman ended up giving me the most compassionate and informative medical experience of my life. While it was cash only and had a pretty rough first impression, it was $140 well spent. I went in to this place thinking this was all bullshit and came out realizing no, it's not. At the very least he's doing a public service of not getting stoners thrown in prison cells. While I'm glad to see eight states and the District of Columbia undermining this dogma of prohibition, it needs to be legal everywhere, yesterday. While it's not a panacea, it does a fantastic job helping folks with chronic pain & certain kinds of cancer.
Thanks for reading and happy 420 y'all!