Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What on earth?????

So there are days at the end of which only two options seem valid, the first being a stop at the local hock shop to see what's available in the way of a .38 snubbie and the other being the implementation of a rigorous quality testing program upon one's supply of Adult Beverages.

Today has been such a day.

Actually, all of the last week has fallen into the same unfortunate category. Sadly, at the end of each day, I have lacked the energy to visit the local hock shop(s) and my level of fatigue has gotten in the way of the attention to detail required for proper quality analysis.

This is not fun.

There are many things that have annoyed me lately, and about the only one I can discuss without fear of legal ramification is the proliferation of what are properly called Medical Marijuana Dispensaries but more accurately called "dope shops."

Mind you, I do think medical marijuana has its place. And I do think people who need it oughtta be able to get it without engaging in clandestine drive-by purchases in questionable parts of town or setting up elaborate systems of artificial lighting in the closets of their guest rooms. But really there are limits--limits on need, appropriateness, and good taste for mercy's sake--and my state has sadly left all of those limits so far in the dust they may as well have fallen off the edge of the earth.

How many dope shops does any stretch of city street really NEED to have anyway? I live a few blocks from one of the more dope-shop-intensive streets in town and I can tell you that however many there are right now? Is too many. Waaaayyyyy too many. Honestly I wouldn't mind them nearly so much if it weren't for the AWFUL!!! decor. If I were to pick a color that would subtly allow the customer looking for this business profile to identify same, I would not have picked the sort of sickly greenish-chartreuse that is practically ubiquitous. And, if I were bound by some apparently unpublished dope-shop code of ethics that required I use that color, I would use it in small bits. I would NOT PAINT THE WHOLE FRONT OF MY BUILDING IN A COLOR THAT LOOKS LIKE THE CONTENTS OF A BABY'S USED DIAPER. Honestly. Some shops use a combo of awful green, awful brown, and awful yellow that makes me think of patients with particularly bad end-stage liver disease. Perhaps that is called Foreshadowing, or perhaps the goal is to make the building so depressing to look at that all its neighbors will be compelled to become customers in order to reach some state of hazy equanimity. And let me tell you, the universal Red Cross symbol of Medical Help that appears on a lot of the shops looks particularly disgusting against a sickly yellow background.

And oh my God the NAMES!!! The names of the businesses!!! It is difficult to keep track as there is some, shall I say, turnover, but "A Cut Above?" I would have guessed a hair salon, but ooooh no, not unless there is more than one business under the roof. "Bonnie and Clydes Caring Cannabis?" Do you WANT to advertise a connection to crime? "Chronic Wellness???" From smoking marijuana? Listen, I talked to a doc about a year ago who said, with the fervor of a man who sees a pulmonology residency in his future, that in 30 years all the patrons of these businesses will have lung disease worse than those who use tobacco. Because if you are smoking the stuff, unless you're more sophisticated than many, you're rolling it up in ZigZags with NO FILTERS. And if you want to know how good that is for you, look at the inside of someone's water pipe sometime, and think of your lungs. Anyhow, back to the names. How about the Ganja Gourmet Medical Marijuana MMJ Restaurant Dispensary? You can view a menu online. Honest. Which is one of the fascinating things about the Medical Marijuana MMJ business (sorry, couldn't help it) -- you have a Full Range of Products from Which to Choose. Not just leaves and buds, oh no. And no need to bake your own Medical Marijuana MMJ brownies anymore either, you can buy 'em premade (be sure the kiddies don't pick up the wrong batch for birthdays at school, just saying). At the Ganja Gourmet one can buy Medical Marijuana MMJ-infused pizza!!! and beef pot pie (pun intended I am sure)!!!! and rice krispy treats!!!! and double-fudge cookie with hint of espresso (what's the point of THAT, I want to know???) and, yes, "Stoney Road" ice cream.

Back to names after the brief gustative diversion: A number of these sickly green businesses include words like "natural," "kind," and "healing" in their business names. I suppose these names are meant to contrast the businesses with purveyors of allopathic health care which is not really fair. I mean, if you are having a big fat heart attack and you are being resuscitated, your immediate concern (if you are perfusing well enough to have one, that is) is less about "kindness" than about the forcefulness of the compressions being applied to restart your ticker. Your concern about "kindess" comes the next day, when you are supposed to start waking up, broken ribs notwithstanding. Maybe sickly green isn't so disgusting then, I dunno. I am beginning to ramble here, but do go back up a paragraph or so and ponder what I said about "lung disease," and think about that in relationship to "kindness." Take your time.

There is purportedly a Medical Marijuana MMJ business (I canNOT help it, the redundancy is simply too much) named Releaf. Do they recycle, too, I wonder? And the Rocky Mountain Farmacy. Cute. By far my favorite though is the SweetLeaf Compassion and Wellness Center (italics mine). What the hell? "Good afternoon. I need to purchase some compassion. Also wellness. Do you have a price list?"

Which brings me in a somewhat befogged way back to the beginning of my post. I probably do need to purchase or otherwise obtain some compassion, if only for the poor souls that have to write ad copy like the following (for The Giving Tree MMJ Dispensary): "...An established licensed Denver medical marijuana dispensary providing premium compassionate caregiver services and products..." Anyone who has to spend their days writing that kind of purple prose to describe premium products otherwise known as "Afghooey," "Northern Lights," or "Green Crack Medical Marijuana," and probably writing said purple prose while sitting in a sickly-greenish room deserves at least a pound of compassion, SweetLeaf or otherwise. Or perhaps a double-fudge Medical Marijuana MMJ-infused cookie with hint of espresso. Balance in all things, indeed.

I don't know about you, dear reader, but I am feeling much better indeed after this little rant about the Medical Marijuana MMJ business. It may be that I can forego the rigors of quality assurance for another day and the .38 snubbie for two or even three. It is good to feel gratitude, even though the quality analysis of a tiny bottle of peppermint schnapps is, if done well, a task worth doing.

("Green Crack Medical Marijuana???????????????????????")