When I clicked on the link to read Sandy Banks’ recent Los Angeles Times column, “What it’s like to buy medical marijuana,” I was excited about our city’s main newspaper giving some major ink to the medical marijuana issue. Early in the piece, I got a glimpse of the kind of writing I was going to be subjected to.
I’d dismissed the claim as a marketing gimmick. But it left me wondering: Could you really just walk in off the street and get marijuana?
Yes, Sandy. And it’s been that way for years now. Did she think that the 1996 Compassionate Use Act–which she says she voted for–was some sort of ruse to lure pot smokers out into the open only to round them up and cart them off to jail?
Banks then details her visit to a clinic in West Hollywood were she got to visit and actual real live doctor who told her that marijuana could help ease the pain from her arthritis. Shocking!!! After visiting a dispensary and making a purchase, she takes her weed home. That’s where the wheels fall off entirely.
At home, I couldn’t get the bottle open. My fingers weren’t strong enough to pop the top. Which is just as well.
I’m not going to smoke it. The feds don’t recognize California’s medical marijuana law. The DEA has been raiding dispensaries here; I don’t want federal agents knocking on my door.
So, on Friday, I brought the bottle into my office and my editor watched me flush it down the toilet.
The experience left me with so much to think about, it’s best I’m clear-headed while I work through it.
Just like that, what could have been an actual honest examination into the medicinal effects of marijuana on someone with a real condition that millions of people can relate to is immediately turned into a toothless piece of pablum that might be remotely titillating to the Readers Digest crowd. This kind of cowardly writing is one of the main reasons that newspapers are giant, lumbering dinosaurs destined to be rendered obsolete by the present media age. Who the fuck wants to read some middle-aged mother giggling over the shocking–SHOCKING!–revelation that it’s legal to by grass, man!!! Only to discover that she doesn’t even have the guts to smoke it.
Ignoring the fact that the DEA doesn’t arrest patients or dispensary owners in the raids, Blanks cites fear of prosecution for the reason she flushes the marijuana down the toilet. Which is exactly what they should have done with this column.
Sandy, do yourself a favor. Go back to that dispensary, get an 1/8 of the kindest shit they have, take it home and get really fucking high. And then tell your readers about that.