A friend of mine recently moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. I guess you could say he’s a handsome dude. Standing at just under 6 feet tall, with sort of a bohemian attitude and a swagger to his walk, Dave had no problems making friends anywhere he went. Upon arriving, one of the first things he asked me was, “How can I get some weed around here?”
For the first couple of months, Dave picked up from a few friends of mine who happened to sell. Unfortunately, those friends happened to live all the way across town, and scheduling became a hassle.
One day, while driving back from one of the countless impromptu taco trucks in town, Dave asked me, “Hey man, there’s so many damn dispensaries around here. You think it’s hard to get a med card?” I didn’t know the answer. What I did know was that he was right; around here, there’s probably one dispensary every four blocks. Not knowing a thing about the process, I said, “Well, why don’t you just try getting one? I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?”
The next morning, Dave looked up a few clinics on Yelp and Weedmaps — a sort of Yelp for marijuana clinics and dispensaries. There was a clinic just around the corner. Perfect.
Finding the clinic was easy. The building was unmistakable. Painted bright green and covered with cartoon murals of eyeballs and solar systems, the building bore only one sign, the green medical cross insignia. Dave walked right through the doors without hesitation.
Inside, at the front desk, Dave was greeted by a pale, skinny girl rocking a jet-black pixie cut, and worn-out Chuck Taylors.
“First time here?” she asked, as she reached over the counter to hand Dave a clipboard, revealing her heavily tattooed arms.
Dave nodded as he took the clipboard and sat down in the tiny lobby, with lime-green walls of course. Three other men, roughly in their late twenties, were also waiting to see the “doctor.”
The information form was simple. It was a standard form that only took about five or six minutes to complete. However, by the time Dave was done, the lobby was empty. The doctor had seen all three of them and sent them on their way, med card in hand, in six minutes. Dave’s face lit up.
“So what now?” asked Dave, after turning in the form along with a forty-dollar fee.
“The doctor will see you now,” she said. “Please follow me.”
After turning the corner, it became clear to Dave that there was only one other room, besides the lobby: the doctor’s office. The office was painted bright blue with cartoon paintings of astronauts and other space-related things. There were no diplomas on the wall, no certificates proudly hung. Just a single framed painting of a fern plant sloppily hung against the back wall.
“Have a seat, Dave. I’m Doctor B,” said the middle-aged doctor as he set down his Wetzel’s Pretzel. A bit on the chubby side, the doctor uncomfortably shifted in his seat a few times before finding a sweet spot. He took off his small, circular glasses and smiled, revealing the many wrinkles on his face. He had a strange look to him, almost like the Penguin from Batman, but much, much more jolly — maybe the Penguin on Xanax.
“So, how are you doing today?” asked Doctor B.
“Ah, not so good Doc, not so good,” replied Dave with a giant grin.
“Oh? And why’s that? Are you stressed?”
“Oh yes, I’m so stressed. My job is very stressful, and I don’t know how to relax.”
“Sounds like you have anxiety, Dave. Do you also have insomnia?”
“Yes, sir. So much insomnia.”
“Well,” said Doctor B with a smile, “It sounds like you need medical grade cannabis, Dave.”
“I sure do agree, Doc.”
And that was that.
Dave was out the door, med card in hand, in less than five minutes. He was probably the biggest smiling idiot on the block as he crossed the street to a nearby dispensary. Dave forgets the exact name of the dispensary, but swears it was “Green Dragon or something like that.”
“Do you have your card?” asked the burly security guard at the door.
“Why yes,” replied a beaming Dave, “Yes I do.”
Dave then proceeded to enter what he describes as his own personal “Cave of Wonders.”
The place was not only immaculate, but it was also unexpectedly stylish. With aged brick walls and industrial-style piping, the place felt cool, like one of the hip little retail stores on Melrose. It was anything but the dark, sketchy hole-in-the wall that Dave had imagined.
“Hey, I’m Becka,” said a petite brunette girl, sporting a speckled gray beanie and a necklace in the shape of a pocket watch. “Is this your first time here?”
Dave explained how he had literally just gotten his card a few minutes ago, shared some laughs, and followed Becka, a bud-tender, over to the counter. The shop had a large variety of “flowers,” aka non-oil based cannabis. On wall-mounted shelves, there were countless large, clear jars, filled with flowers. They were separated into the two major schools of weed, Sativa and Indica. Becka began to explain the differences between each strain, but Dave was in a rush.
“I just need something that won’t put me to sleep,” said Dave, “and that will make me creative. Yeah, that’s really important.” Dave laughs as he empties his pockets for cash.
“Here’s a twenty. What can I get?”
Becka smiled the kind of smile that said “First-Time-Customer Deal.”
And, just like that, Dave was out the door with forty dollars worth of medical marijuana, and a strong sense of accomplishment.
And to be honest, his feeling of accomplishment was entirely deserved — the whole experience, getting a medical card and attaining quality weed, took less than half an hour.
This shocked me. I knew it was easy to get marijuana in Los Angeles, but I had no idea it was this easy. From the moment Dave decided to legally attain weed, it took less time for him to accomplish his mission than it did for me to watch an episode of Mad Men.
Now that’s mad.