Medical Marijuana, how I got my card

*this is solely my experience, it may be different for others.  I live in Arizona, the requirements can be different for different states, and the type of product offered can be very different also.  You can read a good article about the whole process on Leafly, here.

medical card

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As soon as we moved to Tucson I started the process of getting my Medical Marijuana card.  I received it on my birthday (July 2nd).  Here’s the process I went through:

First I had to get an Arizona Driver’s License, thankfully I kept my license up to date even though I hadn’t driven in years.  To get my license I had to prove my identity and prove I live here, I took a copy of our lease and mail that had been forwarded from our previous address.  Within an hour after arriving at a DMV I had my temporary license in hand, after 2 weeks I received my official license in the mail.  Very shortly after that I went in to apply for my Medical Marijuana Card.

To obtain a Medical Card from the Arizona Department of Health I needed to take my medical records that proved I have been dealing with one of the approved conditions on the list for over a year, in my case severe migraines, to a doctor to see if I qualify.   To find a doctor who will do these referrals was pretty easy, I just looked in the local free paper, there are plenty of ads (I actually think this is kind of weird)   I saw an ad that looked a bit more professional than some of the others and emailed them (as most of you probably know, I don’t use the phone because of my hearing loss).  The doctor I saw is a Naturopathic Doctor, she reviewed my records briefly and checked my vitals.  She told me a little about Medical Marijuana, and told me I should receive my card in a couple of weeks.  Oh, I also had to pay a fee to the doctor and a fee to the state, the doctor fee can vary, the state fee is set.  You can get the recommendation from the doctor and then file your own paperwork online with the health department, but I decided to pay the extra little bit to have the doctor’s office do the filing for me, they even took my photo for my ID.  So to break down the cost, the office visit was $100, the processing fee (to have them file all my paperwork) was $20, and the state fee is $150 so the total cost to get my the card was $270.  The state fee is $75 for those with a SNAP card (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

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Ads found in the Tucson Weekly  (I’m not against recreational use, but if this is a medicinal only state, then treat it like medicine.  The ads like those above give medical patients a bad name.)

 

If you are interested in even more details, this link will send you to the center where I saw my prescriber.  Actually it isn’t “prescribed”, it is recommended, doctors honestly don’t have enough knowledge about the efficacy of marijuana (the different strains vary in what they do, some are sedating, some are energizing, some help pain, some cause paranoia…..there is no way to actually just prescribe marijuana like you do other medications, you have to know all the different aspects of the different strains and delivery methods, therefore they really have no idea how to dose it.  The center that I went to offered a 15-minute Complimentary Consultation to discuss the available types and delivery method for cannabis, and suggested strains to help with my condition.  They also suggested a dosing schedule.  I felt this visit too short, however, since I had already done a lot of research I didn’t need a lot of guidance (or so I thought), but I welcomed the advice on strains and dosing.  The center also offers a couple of workshops, one teaches how to make edibles because it’s much cheaper to make your own, (these are an additional cost).

After receiving my card I visited a Dispensary that is located close to my house. (since then I’ve done some research on the different dispensaries in the area and I will make sure to take advantage of the best deals, it kind of blows my mind that they offer sales, I thought all the dispensaries would have the same prices and the same products, but it can vary greatly.  I should note that the dispensaries are non-profit, however, some also sell paraphernalia, I don’t know if they are allowed to make a profit on that, it seems like they should.

When we arrived at the dispensary someone greeted us at the door and welcomed us in.  We walked into what appeared to be a somewhat large lounge, the actual shop was in another room that had to be opened for me to go in.  Stuart was not allowed in the shop with me even though I told them I needed him to hear, to compensate they had a pen and paper so we could communicate that way if needed.

A very sweet girl met me at the door and gave me a tour of the shop.  She pointed out a cart that contained CBD products only and told me that anyone could come in and buy those, they simply took the cart out to the lobby and had them shop from there.  I noticed that she kept pointing out the strains with the highest amount of THC, they are more expensive, so I was wary about taking her advice as to what I needed.  (I have since been back to this dispensary and another and found the people I spoke with very knowledgeable and were able to really help me figure out which products to try.)

There are so many different types of delivery methods, smoking, vaping, tinctures, transdermal patches, various edibles (from cookies to hard candies), drinks, and concentrates….so much it is mind blowing.  The doctor I saw recommended I use a tincture and vape.  A CBD tincture 10 mg, 3 times a day, as a migraine preventative; and a CBD:THC 1:1 tincture to help me sleep.  It was also suggested I vape for acute pain, since I have a dry herb vaporizer I was given the name of a few strains that would help, I was also given the strength I’d need if I wanted to use an oil vaporizer.  This was a good starting point, but I have a lot more to learn.  This article can give you more of an understanding of what CBD and THC are and what they do: “CBD vs THC: What’d the Difference?”  (I have found the best information on Leafly.com)

 

In my next post I will tell all about what I’ve tried so far, and things I wish I knew before I started this journey.

****NOTE****  I admit I’m very nervous about writing this article.  Please be kind to me, do not treat me as a drug seeker.  I am not looking to get “high”, I simply want the pain to lessen.

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Mindfulness Monday – Garden

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“Gardening is an active

participation in the

deepest mysteries of

the universe.”

~ Thomas Berry

“Look deep into nature

and then you will

understand everything better.”

~ Albert Einstein

“Gardening simply does not allow

one to be mentally old, because

too many hopes and dreams

are yet to be realized.”

~Allan Armitage

 

 

*Photo taken at Tucson Botanical Garden, Tucson AZ, by W. Holcombe, all rights reserved.  Please do not use without permission.

 

Finally some promised pictures.

I’m still not able to type much, a lot of hunting and pecking with just my left hand, but I’m managing to do a little.  My wrist has not improved, the shot did not work, I go back to the doctor on July 2nd (which just happens to be my birthday).  Wish me luck.

 

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Welcome to our home.  The top photo isn’t very good, but it’s of the front gate.  The middle row from left to right: the front porch, the pool off the right of the house, the kitchen over looking the living room.  the bottom row, left to right: the bathtub/shower, flowers from my neighbor, the sick in the bathroom.

When I first visited Tucson I wondered why so many houses had bars on the windows and walls around their homes, well I found out.  The bars are because so many houses eight used to have, or still have, a Swamp Cooler.  For a Swamp Cooler to work, you have to have the doors and windows open.  So it’s not because the whole town has a lot of crime, it’s a deterrent for when people have the Swamp Coolers going.  (Swamp Coolers cool by adding moisture to the air, it’s really cool actually. but it only works in places with no humidity).  The walls are often added if you have a pool.  It is also a law that if a window in your house can open and it opens out to the pool, it must have bars. The pool must also have a gate that locks, or has a latch way out of reach for a child.

The house we live in was built in 1943, I think the realtor said, that surprised me since that was a time of rationing.  The bathroom was tiled in the 1970’s, the owner loved Fiesta-ware and the tiles were bought to kinda match that. I love it!!  The kitchen was also tiled like it at some point, but they remodeled the kitchen not long ago and the cool tile went bye-bye.  You can see the new stove in the tiny kitchen, and the tiny living room beyond that.  The living room is so small we had to get rid of our couch, and the dining area is so small we couldn’t fit a regular size table in it.  Too bad, because the house is pretty cool other than the tiny rooms, if they were bigger we would consider buying this house, but it simply won’t work, so we are on the hunt for a house to buy that meets our needs.  This property also has a guest house, which would be perfect for us when Dad moves in, but as I said, the main house just doesn’t work.

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There are many suns all around the outside of the house, that’s kinda cool.

I took a walk around the neighborhood the other day and I saw all these cactus!  The barrel cactus, the paddle cactus, prickly pear, and the big daddy of all the Saguaro. (you might not be able to tell from the photo bur the Saguaro has blossoms (well buds or dried of blossoms anyway), they don’t bloom every year so this was a treat.

These photos are all from around the house.  I especially like the last one.

 

I hope you have enjoyed the little trip around my new digs.  I have a few shots from the trip across country if you’d like to see them let me know and I’ll post those too.  🙂

*all photos were taken by me, W. Holcombe, please do not use without permission.