My oncologist suggested I get a medical marijuana card before I start chemo. There are benefits such as helping with pain, nausea, insomnia. Certain plants are bred to help with chronic pain and nausea. You might be a little sleepy, but no high.
Today we started searching for a dispensary close to us and one that delivers. Googled San Leandro, got the address, and set the GPS. Well, that one didn't work out. It was just a house in a nice subdivision. We called the number, no longer connected. So we spread out to the next town, Hayward.
The place was a nightmare. Rude and ignorant bitch at the front desk. We had called there and nothing was said about getting a card elsewhere. All she could say was her script about primary care doctor writing a letter of recommendation for a screening doctor. I have been turned over to an oncologist and won't be seeing my primary care doctor. She didn't seem to know what an oncologist is. We asked for a screening doctor, she kept saying the same thing over and over. They don't give out the cards, only the selected few doctors. Finally she gave Marty a phone number to call, and they would help us.
He called, they answered the phone: Doctor's Office. The receptionist gave us an address in Oakland and we headed north. We arrived, the building has an "open" sign out front, suite #, but was locked up tight as a drum. Bless cell phones, Marty called and she was all surprised and came down to let us in. I filled out paper work, explained my diagnosis, and Marty gave her $85 in cash. Now I could see the screening doctor.
We went into a room that had a desk with empty drawers standing open, one chair, nothing on the walls, and a laptop set on SKYPE. I blurted out, " Are you kidding me? The doctor isn't even here?" " Oh this is modern technology, she said." We could only see the MAN'S face from about the eyes up. He asked why I wanted the card, right he wasn't even there. He lives in Los Angeles. So he had not seen their stupid information sheet. I explained again, and he basically said OK you can get your card
I then lost it and asked how do we even know he is a doctor. And that we have no idea what he looked like. He moved the camera a little and then went back to the incognito mode. Talk about a stupid system. Only certain doctors can give you a card, and it seems as if they are working the system for the money. Trust me, little medical info was going either direction. He took my word that I had cancer. I felt dirty and as if I were doing something illegal. And for people not in California, this a legal medical business. It should not be so hard and upsetting for the patient.
At this point I just wanted to go home and cry and take a nap. Marty pushed and said we needed to do this, and let's get it done now. So he found a dispensary in Oakland and off we went. This is where it got better.
All of the dispensaries have tight security. Security in Hayward made us feel like criminals, they glared and made us feel as if we were going to rob them. The Oakland one had a lot of security and they welcomed us, opened the door, and smiled. The inside security watched us, that is their job, but not in a mean way. The staff did my paper work, and sent me into the secure room with all the stuff. (Only people with a card can go into the secure dispensary area. Marty had to go back outside) Security showed me to a seat and said I will call you.
A lovely young woman explained what type of medical marijuana might help me. She listened to me and knew I didn't want a high, I wanted help with pain and nausea. She checked with someone about the marijuana and other drugs I am on. Then she said Marty should have a caregiver's card. Then he can buy what I need when I am too sick to come myself. She gave me info on setting that up. She explained their other programs, massages, free haircuts, nurses to give advice, and on and on. A cheerful place. A place that was compassionate.
And no, Kaiser and Medicare do not pay anything toward the marijuana. We will see if the US will let us take it off our taxes.