Dear Stoner: My caregiver says he's going to stop being a caregiver by the summer and that the state is probably going to make it hard to be one, anyway.
Dear Sick Sally: He's right. The state is trying to set strict limits on the number of patients that caregivers can serve; it might also force them to reveal where caregivers grow their herb.
The real question is this: Why is the state attacking people who are trying to help others, working within a system that's been in place since 2001? We're talking about caregivers who have already registered with the state and are already doing everything they are legally required to do, a group that handles 4,680 patients — just 3.9 percent of the 116,216 total patients in Colorado. Meanwhile, 40 percent of patients have a dispensary grow their cannabis, and any cannabis purchased at a dispensary can be diverted to the "black market" as easily as any grown by a caregiver. All this in a state where any adult over twenty can grow up to six plants in his home. But despite all this, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is picking on the smallest group (the ones arguably providing the most beneficial services to patients).
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Really, state officials are trying to milk more money out of medical marijuana because they didn't see the huge patient transition to recreational pot that was predicted. And we wouldn't be surprised if there were a few dispensary owners and "industry groups" grumbling to lawmakers about this, as well.
Dear Stoner: What do you smoke in a week?
Dear 24/7: How much do I smoke in a week? Pounds, son. I'm bubbling through ounces of oil by the week. Boom. No, seriously, I probably smoke way less than you would think for a guy who writes a column called Ask a Stoner. Not to say that at one point I didn't puff tuff all day long and have a tolerance that required half-gram dabs to truly get me lifted, because I did. But lately I've not been using near as much. I have a good session two, three nights a week "recreationally." Medically, I'm toking less as well — one or two hits for nausea, instead of several bowls. Maybe it's just me getting old and having kids; maybe it's because I'm getting my stomach issues more under control. But whatever the reason, I've actually found that my slowdown has increased my enjoyment: When I do puff now, I get a much more complex buzz and really feel the differences between strains more distinctly than I did when I was puffing every day, all day.