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August 28, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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August 28, 2014

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Page C-8 - Mason County Journal - Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 Journal photos by Tom Hyde Bob Davies, owner of Mud Bay Meds, on the front porch of the dispensary in Olympia. a menu continued frompage C-7 council decision, one crackdown Like the Rick Simpson Oil is by the U.S. Attorney's Office. popular with cancer patients, You DO NOT have consent to Dispensary owners' long-range but for somebody to buy a heavy enter or search the premises, plans for their businesses tend regimen of that they can spend, No person in this facility con- not to be too long range, oh gosh, $50 a day. However, sents to questioning - they will $10 a day is a very good average NOT answer any questions con- [N THE LEGISLATURE for somebody who needs it for cerning persons or activities on Regulating medical mari- pain or stufflike that." these premises, juana will be up on the Legisla- About 60 percent of his sales, Ifyou have any questions con- ture's agenda in 2015, just as it Davies said, are of the non-dried cerning the persons or activities was in 2014. And many medical marijuana variety. That's every- on these premises please contact marijuana advocates are likely thing that isn't smoked. our lawyer, to fight the details of regulation Davies said it worries him just as strenuously in the next that under Initiative 502, peo- Not only does Davies sell weed session as they did last session, ple who work at the state-sanc- from a store on a busy urban But as of today, thousands of tioned stores are barred from road, with the full knowledge of people (the exact number isn't giving therapeutic advice. If you anyone who passes by, he can available because they aren't enter a recreational store and also tell police not to pester him. registered) use dispensaries to ask a clerk for advice on what buy the marijuana that they say strain will help with an ailment, *** makes their medical conditions you're likely to get a smile and Washington voters approved, more tolerable. Thousands also a nonresponse response. It'll be by 59 percent to 41 percent, the buy marijuana for less-than-kind of like going to a wine store use of marijuana for medicinal medical reasons, and having the clerk tell you she purposes in 1998. Washington, Roger Roffman, professor can't tell you which wine goes along with Alaska and Oregon, emeritus of social work at the best with chicken. became just the second states to University of Washington and a legalize the use of medical mari- co-sponsor of the initiative that 'WE CAN GIVE ADVICE' juana. California was the first, legalized marijuana in 2012, told "That's really too bad because in 1996. the Journal that dispensaries there's so many patients out After years of drifting along serve a vital interest, "but our there right now," Davies said. after passage, medical marijua- state has failed to adequately "We can give some advice and na and its green-crossed dispen- regulate medical marijuana. As a point people in the right direc- saries started popping up in King result, there are legitimate medi- tions and educate them on where County around 2011 when the cal needs being served alongside to look so they can do some re- Legislature amended the state's exploitation by nonpatients of the search for themselves for what- medical marijuana law to allow opportunity to avoid conviction." ever their ailments are. Their collective gardens. A "collective dosages are sometimes required garden" was the name given to OWNER AND BELIEVER to be a lot higher than what the marijuana grown for a group of Mud Bay Meds owner Davies state will allow under 502 and I people who had medical mari- is a firm believer in the medici- think that will make it very hard juana authorization cards. It al- nal power of marijuana. He is a on the people who really need it. lowed people who couldn't grow longtime consumer, and he used That's why I think they should marijuana or who didn't have marijuana to help treat his co- keep medical stores and if they safe access to it to join a group lon cancer. He said he's now in do it by some kind of guideline where growers could produce up remission, and really run it as a nonprofit, to 45 plants for a minimum of "As soon as I found out I had it will really help a lot of people, three people and a maximum of cancer, I started on a heavy, hard especially poor people. That's 10 people. Then the marijuana regimen of Rick Simpson Oil, (a one thing they're not taking into would be spread among them -- hemp oil that's high in cannabidi- consideration are the prices." for medicinalpurposes, of course, nols, a nonintoxicating element Keeping afloat financially is It thus became legal to grow of Cannabis) and before I had my tough, Davies said, and work- pot under certain restrictions, surgery, they found that there ing around banking restrictions as far as the state was con- was no more new spreading," Da- makes it tougher. cerned, and store-front dispen- vies said. "I was pretty bad. I went "It seems like every day we saries stepped in to provide the through chemotherapy and radia- get a few bucks ahead and the marijuana directly to patients, tion." jars are empty and we have to In most cases, dispensaries When he opened the dispen- spend it on more dry goods or brought in marijuana from col- sary in September 2013, Da- candy bars or lollipops," he said. lective gardens and then sold it vies, an Army veteran, said he "When I do have a cash deposit, (dispensaries prefer the word expected to see a lot of younger I have to turn it over to this one "donate") to authorized patients, people come through the door, person, and then they deposit But no state statute express- especially because he was near it. And then they can write the ly allows the actual sale of mari- The Evergreen State College.checks for my bills." juana. In 2011, Gregoire vetoed "I thought being next to Ev-He uses a bank, but he said he's legislation that would have reg- ergreen I'd be getting all these not aware of whether the bank ulated dispensaries, teeny-boppers, and that's not knows it's dispensary money. Dispensary owners in 2014 the case," Davies said. "I would Probably not. find themselves in a legal neth- say 75 percent to 80 percent of "Everything is in somebody erworld where their business the people are 50 years or older." else's name; that's the only way could end tomorrow with one And what do they buy? I can pay my bills," he contin- court ruling, a shift in the po- "It varies," he said. "It de- ued. "It kind of sucks. In our sit- litical culture, one city or county pends on what they can afford, uation, nobody really owns it." Interview: A husband and wife hope to find help for his medical problems A husband and his wife entered Mud Bay Meds dur- ing one of those South Sound days when the late-morn- ing clouds and sun vie for control of the day. The husband, 60, is in a wheelchair because of mul- tiple sclerosis, which he was diagnosed with three years ago. He worked as an electrician for the Department of Transportation before his disease forced him to leave his job. Now, he spends most of his time at their home near McCleary, watching TV, while his wife works in Olym- pia. When she's not working, she spends a lot of time tak- ing care of him. They asked to remain anonymous. They had never been in a medical marijuana dispen- sary before that day, but at the urging of a relative, de- cided to pursue medical marijuana in hopes it would help ease his spells of anxiety and depression. He's on an anti- depressant medication, but both said the prescription medication wasn't as effective at controlling his tremors, anxiety and depression as the marijuana brownies she would occasionally bake for him. But the brownies had drawbacks. "He didn't like the sensation of being so stoned," the wife said. Another time, she said, he got so high on one of her brownies that she called 911. "He got so stoned," the wife said. His eyes rolled back in his head and he was drooling. "I thought I killed him." An ambulance crew arrived, checked his vital signs and left him when he started feeling better -- as in less high. The wife wears the anxiety that comes with caring for an ailing spouse. She cries and laughs easily, and he looks at her affectionately at such moments. They've been together for 20 years. "This is harder for her than it is for me," her husband said. She disagreed. THE CHOOSING OF MEDICINE When they entered the dispensary, the husband showed his medical authorization card at the front desk, and after a few minutes of paperwork, the couple were ushered into the back room where they keep the Cannabis. Two dispensary volunteers walked him through choosing what he wanted. They asked him what his ailments were. They asked him what kind of relief he wanted. "I'm not sure," he said. "I just don't want anything that gets me too stoned." The array of choices can be boggling to the dispen- sary novice. Patients can choose from products that in- clude several strains of dried marijuana, concentrated off that's high in THC, baked goods, lollipops, tinctures and capsules. The presumed medicinal effects vary among the choices, so the helpers - called "budtenders" - get into a prolonged back-and-forth discussion with him to determine what might help him best. After about 10 minutes, the husband, with plenty of help from his wife, settles on an oil rich in cannabidiol that can be vaporized and inhaled. Cannabidiol, commonly called CBD, is one of at least 60 cannabinoids found in the mari- juana plant and is becoming increasingly popular in the medical marijuana world. Tetrahydrocarmabinol (THC) is the most well-known cannabinoid and is the one respon- sible for the intoxicating effects of marijuana. Cannabidiol, on the other hand, does not have psychoactive properties, and many people who use it claim they get relief from the symptoms of neurological diseases, including multiple scle- rosis. The couple also bought some Rick Simpson Oil, a marijuana oil that's high in cannabidiol and is touted for cancer-fighting properties, some hard candy and a lollipop. Their goods, along with a single red rose, were put into a brown paper lunch bag. Total bill: $110. "We didn't realize pot could be so different," she said after leaving the back room. LATER Two weeks after visiting the dispensary, the couple reported that the marijuana had lessened some of his symptoms. "His legs aren't jumping all the time and it helps with his moods," his wife said. "He likes the vape-pen oil ... the problem is my husband hopes something's going to cure him, but it's not." "But he seems more relaxed. He seems to be getting through the day easier." He wasn't as clear about whether the marijuana helped him, but he did note that some of his spastic re- sponses had eased. "My legs aren't jumping when I'm in bed, and my feet don't seem to be bothering me as much, either," he said. "It's hard to tell," whether I feel better, he said. He complained that some of what he bought made him too high, and he had trouble dispensing the Rick Simpson Oil because of his tremors. "I don't mind the vape pen. I use that all the time because it doesn't get me too high. It relaxes me and I seem to be in a better mood... I also like the hard candy." Will they try the dispensary again? They both agreed: "Yes." -- Kirk Ericson ~ 4 [~ ~llt[l]Illi ]llii i~EIE~ ][lil{~Ii ilI|i[lllIli II[iil lilt Iil i lil iill~ t~ I~: i rl i i ~ f ~ , .