Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Good morning "doctor"

There is something unnerving about walking into a marijuana dispensary.

I know it's legal. I know there are as many dispensaries in Los Angeles as there are Starbucks. And I know I won't get arrested and spend a night in the clink, as I did a long, long time ago while visiting the Jersey Shore.

By the way, if you're going to hole up in a jail, the one in Belmar was very clean.

Still, it's hard to process the whole process when your head is filled with so many memories of making a similar transaction on the sly; whether it was buying weed from shady characters in Greenwich Village to taking a cab ride into the heart of Harlem only to come away with some marijuana-like oregano.

I hadn't been to the dispensary in quite some time. In my case, a little goes a long way. I don't wake and bake as I used to do in college. Now, I like to have some on hand for camping trips or for "medicinal purposes", like when my plantar fascitis flares up.

In any case, before gaining entry to the back room of the dispensary I had to go through the security check.

Alas, my "medical" marijuana card had expired. Meaning, a trip to the "medical" marijuana "doctor" was in order. Please note the ample use of quotes because it's hard to take any of these cannabis charades seriously.

Fortunately the "doctor", who also has equity in the dispensary, was located just down the street. It's a tiny ramshackle office that sits under the shadow of the 405 freeway, wedged between a taco stand and an old-timey steak house that still serves green beans fresh from the can.

Also fortunately, the waiting room was empty.

The last time I was in there it was packed. Mostly with giggling high school kids eager to see Dr. FeelGood. I took a seat on the cheap Ikea furniture and paged through the latest edition of High Times. The centerfold was a glorious three page fold out of a baseball-sized bud of Five Star Master Kush. Who says print is a dead medium?

After a few minutes I was led down the hallway to the windowless office of the "doctor." It was 1:30 in the afternoon and apparently I had caught him while he was plowing through his Filipino lunch -- a plate of Sisig (sizzling pork cheeks, brain and liver) smothered in Sriracha sauce.

He asked me a few questions. Didn't even look at my feet, now burdened with bone spurs from 25 years of running. And had me sign some silly piece of paper about my "medical affliction" and my dissatisfaction with more "traditional conventional treatments."

But before he handed me my shiny new medical marijuana card enabling me to enjoy all the "medicinal" benefits of state-regulated and grown sativa, he relieved my wallet of forty bucks. The only relief this "doctor" provided.

He thanked me and vigorously shook my hand.

On the way out, I noticed I had Sriracha sauce all over my palm.

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