The Cannabis Closet: Cash Is King

A reader writes:

In the past six months I have made extraordinary efforts to find a way to quit breaking the law.  I use pot, perhaps no more than the size of a pencil eraser, every night to sleep.  The "legal" medications exacerbated the depression and anxiety that are a result of child-hood trauma. My primary care physician understands this and has said, more than once, that "if it helps you and keeps you mentally well then continue."  I have.  For almost 20 years (I'm 37).  I have a graduate degree from Georgetown, I am the dept chair of a vibrant/progressive English department, I have been teaching for 15 years, I have a healthy marriage and two fabulous kids.  There has not been a single negative consequence – except the one time i was busted for possession – on an otherwise normal existence.

So when I began investigating becoming a licensed patient, two things emerged. 

First, my physician – whom I trust implicitly – was not willing to risk her license or practice to prescribe the medication because the state doesn't list my condition under the law.  Second, when I finally found the name of a doctor willing to prescribe medical marijuana to me, the nurse told me that at the time of booking the first appointment there is a REQUIRED FEE OF $500 and a waiting list until February to see the doctor.  When I called dispensaries to find out if that was common, the employees sighed and said, " is king right now."  My confusion must have been evident.  He went on to say that, "since there is such a rush of applicants to get licenses the doctor can charge whatever he wants."

The doctor has turned into a MUCH more expensive version of current source.  If I want weed, then I'm better off asking one of my high-school students for a hook-up (something i would NEVER do, obviously) than paying that kind of money for a simple consult.  I'm not sure how this is legal but it certainly seems unethical.