The Kind Budtender

It’s no secret now that I use cannabis to reduce nausea/vomiting. But this is HOW I get it:

About 2 years ago, I decided to take advantage of California’s legal medical marijuana law and become a formal cannabis “patient.” In order to be legit, first I needed a recommendation from a doctor. Of course, none of my REAL doctors would officially recommend cannabis as a drug; they were all too scared to endorse it, even though they admit privately that it’s beneficial (I go to UC Davis – those docs aren’t risking anything). So, instead, I had to go to a shady “doctor”. I paid him $150 bucks for a piece of paper saying he thinks weed is helpful for me.

It’s a complete sham, by the way. These doctors give ANYONE a cannabis recommendation. They just want easy cash. I was in the waiting room with a folder of my medical records, ready to defend my position and argue for the use of cannabis, but then I looked around and all the other “patients” looked perfectly healthy. Damn potheads. Once I saw the doctor in the private room, he didn’t even ask to see my charts. I was given the paper recommendation within 5 minutes, same as every other Joe Schmo there. I was actually offended by how ridiculously easy it was. I thought I had a real medical reason to use pot, but apparently it didn’t matter (only the fact I had cash did).

Once I had the recommendation, next step was to visit a local cannabis dispensary (aka pot club/store). There’s a great place not too far from where I live (UPDATE: it’s called Marconi Medical Center). Back when I was still working, I’d go to the dispensary once a month and pay for my meds. After I stopped working, however, obviously income dipped and I realized I wouldn’t be able to afford the meds at the dispensary.

So, one day I visited the same dispensary, and asked to speak to the manager in private. He came out and invited me to his office. I sat down and explained who I was, and that I recently stopped working due to declining health. I told him I had cancer as a kid and currently use cannabis for nausea relief. I told him I could still pay, but not as much as before. I wondered if there was any super discounted pot he might sell, but before I could finish the question, he interrupted me. He said:

“Chris, say no more. We’re about compassion here. My wife had cancer and I saw firsthand how cannabis helped her. You take whatever money you had budgeted for medication here and keep it. You have enough stress to worry about and I don’t want this to be something else that bugs you. Keep the money for yourself and your family.”

And then he said the most amazing thing:

“Every Monday, you come here and we will spot you. I’ll tell all my employees that if it’s Monday, and you show up, it’s on the house. Now let’s go up front and get you taken care of today.”

Of course my eyes went wide and everything got blurry. I thanked him over and over and he kept thanking ME! He said if I hadn’t said anything, he would have never known about an opportunity to truly help someone.

Every Monday, I visit the dispensary for a refill, and every Monday it has been free.

The owner doesn’t want publicity (for obvious reasons) but he knows who he is. UPDATE: Crystal, a co-owner contacted me 10/20/09 and said they’d be honored to be mentioned. So no more secrecy.

Thank you, Mr. Budtender, aka Nick. You are an angel on Earth.

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