19 December 2017
Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews
Uncle G’s Corner (Special Edition – Colorado 2017)
Words and Photography by: Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Please let me introduce myself. Pertaining to marijuana, I’ve been inhaling cannabis off and on, since the Nixon Administration. As many of us pot users have, I started off recreational.
Takes money to use marijuana. Especially on a daily basis. I started making cash at around the same time I started inhaling herb. Work hard, play hard. My physical body started seriously showing negative results of that, by the time my fifth decade of existence started rolling around. For the record, I become legally disabled at age 50. Five years later I became a card-carrying, licensed medical marijuana user, for the first time. It happened after relocating to Fort Collins, Colorado, back in the autumn of 2016. My second marriage had just crumbled. Good time to experience new things.
To review, if age 21 and older, in the state of Colorado in which I live, one can buy pot at a legally run marijuana dispensary. The towns and cities where this happens, have very strict laws regarding how this is done, and its use.
Having a ‘medical marijuana card’ means maximum financial savings as compared to buying cannabis just for recreational use. It means obtaining a gram here in Fort Collins (CO) for around the $7 and $10.00 dollar range. This is substantially cheaper than recreational weed. For low-income seniors/disabled users, the savings means a lot. Can amount to an extra bag of groceries at the end of the month (when it counts).
Matter of factly, Colorado does make money off its ill (those that qualify) residents seeking to help themselves using alternative methods. This is done via collecting taxes. Taxing recreational pot I understand fully. Medical Marijuana? Something unethical about that, don’t you think? That’s another opinionated “Uncle G” story for another time.
On the flip side, the marijuana black market, in general, is still very much alive and well. I’ve run into some super compassionate folks who love to grow and will give you free weed, just knowing you are using it mostly for medicinal reasons. Others sell an eighth for about twenty-five bucks. Quality varies. Way better weed than what I was smoking up, forty plus years ago. The fact is today’s marijuana homegrown is much stronger than the Cheech and Chong generation of yesteryear. Reality check; Pot-luck finding what works for you out on the street, as compared to walking into a Colorado state-licensed marijuana dispensary, and having well-trained (hopefully) budtenders advise and match you with whatever they are selling/prescribing at the time, to meet your needs.
Be lucky enough to have a substantial money flow, and if being an everyday cannabis user, you’re better off in a location where it’s legal. Do your research, find a place you like and move. Remember, not going to jail is a big plus. Get caught with Ganja in a place that still governs with stone age laws, and you’ll be really sorry when caught. The whole process blows. As a teen, I was busted numerous times. Gave me a taste of what could be ahead. There are still places in the United States where getting busted with a dirty pipe could land you in front of a judge. Let alone possession.
Today, for myself, cannabis is more a lifestyle. Now having permanent injuries, I’m simply not the young man I use to be. One of the many upsides to my daily marijuana use (mostly indica) is it’s keeping me from looking at pill or booze bottles to help me cope, in which I use to do. Been down that road, and it’s a dark one.
Time to renew. I go back to where I got my medical marijuana license the year before. Procedures have changed. A few dollars less. Total cost this time around was: $116.10 – one hundred dollars given to the pot doctor, with the rest going to the state of Colorado (paid online). Anything with having to travel to the post office afterward to complete and snail mail the application process is now history. Everything is done online now. Leave it to me to find a way to screw this up.
Once home and on my Chromebook, I followed the instructions that the pot doctors assistant gave me. To a tee. All was well and within three days, I got an email informing me that my application was processed, and to sign in so I could print out my card. Wow! I was told by a few folks right before re-applying that getting your card was way quicker now. Sure seemed that way to me so far. But wait, cannabis has a side effect called; short-term memory loss. I was medicated when I did all the initial online requirements. Three days later I remembered my username and not my password. Put an incorrect password three times on the state’s website, and you are; LOCKED OUT! Guess what I did.
Keep in mind, I’m a medical marijuana patient. I signed legal paperwork saying so. My first time on the state’s marijuana website, I created a username and password. When the time came for the BIG payoff, a renewed medical marijuana card, I choked. Since then I figured out how that happened. I wrote down on a 3×5 card, all vital information, and then simply forgot about it. Tidying up some, the card got moved around. If not in the line of focus, out of sight, out of mind. Found AFTER being locked out. My FAULT totally. I accept full responsibility for my actions. Fixing this problem was NOT easy. Welcome to Uncle G’s bloody nightmare.
From a doctor to an online application, to an email in which I was told my marijuana card was ready for printing out, equaled three days. Yet I went almost a full month having to pay recreational prices. Why?
The phone number that is given in case one has a problem keeps you waiting almost a half hour, and then a recorded message plays on saying all are busy now, and to call back later. Hangs up without taking a message. I repeated doing this until I concluded that doing so was a huge waste of time, and was getting me nowhere. Piss me off!
E-mails written to the only email address given were replied back quickly. Too bad a real human wasn’t involved. After a week of automated responses that included information that flat out didn’t work, my next e-mail I was sure would get a human beings’ attention. In the subject line I erased what they had, and replaced with:
Please Help (human)
A week later. Notice the CAPS:
HELP PLEASE (Attention Website System Administrator)
Again, if it’s possible to screw up something, odds are I will. Especially the important stuff! Finally, someone saw my emails on the other end and figured all this out. when notified I went to their website, typed in my username along with a password that I knew worked, and those locked gates magically opened. I got my renewed card! Was good to go from here. I am grateful.
Out of the twelve months, my renewed medical marijuana card is valid for, because of all this crap, almost one full month had already gone by, before I actually had a printed out one in my hands, and that I could use to save money, my next time in a medical marijuana dispensary. My second mention. Something about that is not fair. People reading this where cannabis is still illegal is thinking what a bitch I’m being now. Money is money. I did pay for a license that is supposed to be good for twelve months, not eleven (bitch bitch bitch).
The pot doctor’s office when notified that I was having a problem, couldn’t C.A.R.E less. That’s the impression I got. The only solutions given was the phone number and email address I was already by then, having MAJOR problems with. Almost robotic the way the lady who answered the phone, talked to me. I conclude that where I went (C.A.R.E.S. – Fort Collins, CO) did what was necessary of them, and in a professional matter. No going the extra mile for their clients. Crucify me I f***** up but still help me. My fault for going there. My expectations of them … TOO HIGH. Next year when it comes time to renew, I’ll go anywhere else but (you too right).
In closing, if I may suggest to the great state of Colorado, a few things. Offer more human contact; emails/phone. Make it so the phone receives messages. Expect people whose medication have side effects, to not remember their information. I understand personal information, and a desire to keep it private. Yet at the same time, no one should have to wait like I did, even if my fault, for something that is being labeled; medicine. Sorry for any trouble. So I hear, I’m not the only one. Problem/Solution … enough money is being generated to fix/anticipate whatever problem that arises, including me. And in a timely matter. Legal marijuana itself, a wonderful benefit to staying in Colorado. Rocky mountain high … indeed. Let’s keep it real. People do move here for legal medical marijuana, but at the same time, other States are doing the same thing. Greed and stupidity will kill the goose laying all those golden eggs. Know what I mean?
Onward through the fog…