Lady Cannabis answers questions regarding renewing a medical patient card, traveling tips and having a conversation about smoking. Read the column below and click on the link to read the October issue of The Hemp Connoisseur.
Dear Lady Cannabis, I am a CO resident and my red card is expiring towards the end of the year. Is there any benefit to renewing my red card, or should I just buy from the new marijuana retail stores starting at the beginning of next year? Medical Muggles
Dear Medical Muggles, The adage “it is better to be safe than sorry” are words of wisdom for your situation. If you receive health benefits from cannabis, don’t be in a rush to leave the medical registry. The rules and regulations for recreational centers are being discussed and decided right now. The specific differences between the two markets will be seen after January 1.
There are several benefits to renewing your state issued medical marijuana card. One benefit is continued access to edibles and flower strains you have come to rely on in your favorite dispensaries.
Knowing the product costs and tax rates for your medical cannabis purchases is another benefit to maintaining your medical card. In recreational centers, the product prices might be higher to capitalize on the newly legal market. Also, the tax rate for recreational cannabis has yet to be determined which is a big point of contention, among supporters of Amendment 64. The upcoming ballot issue AA sets the excise and tax rates for cannabis and includes a 15% excise tax and a 10% special sales tax plus local taxes.
With these important factors to be determined, the best choice is to visit your doctor and get your annual recommendation. Be content knowing you have the right to medical marijuana and have good access to it. This is a hard won right for patients.
Dear Lady Cannabis, If you are traveling, and both places are legal pot states, what can or what should you bring with you? Traveling Toker
Dear Traveling Toker, Although Colorado and Washington are the only two legal pot states at this time, packing cannabis safely for travel is an important skill to have for any responsible adult living within the twenty medical cannabis states. Careful packing practices will ensure successful traveling.
In terms of what to bring with you, for any length of travel trip, pack only a sensible amount of cannabis for personal use. Pack clean paraphernalia and place separate from the cannabis.
If you are traveling by airplane, rest assured the federal Transportation Security Agency, has bigger concerns for airport safety than the cannabis they find in the carry-on luggage of travelers. The agents are screening for bombs, not buds. If you are a medical patient in state that allows medical marijuana, place your issued card or relevant documentation with your cannabis. Keep your travel supply of cannabis simple, clean and contained. You and your supply of cannabis for personal use should have no problems on your flight.
When driving, one doesn’t have the same packing restrictions for vehicle travel as airline travel. The general rules still apply, pack a personal amount of cannabis and store clean paraphernalia in a separate place. Keep cannabis stowed away, ideally in the trunk of the vehicle. Careful packing eliminates the plant aroma.
Responsible use means not driving and smoking cannabis. This is not appropriate and can lead to expensive legal problems, among other serious predicaments, if stopped by a police officer or state trooper and cited for intoxicated driving. Be sensible, have your cannabis items packed. This prevents police from finding a reason or probable cause to further delay your travel plans. Be responsible, unpack and partake when you no longer need to drive for the day. Enjoy your upcoming trip.
Dear Lady Cannabis, What do I do when an acquaintance smokes around me and I don’t like the smell? Super Lungs
Dear Super Lungs, Second hand smoke is a sensitive subject. Fortunately, cannabis smoke is not as toxic or dangerous as second hand tobacco smoke. Any kind of smoke can be an uncomfortable irritant. Anti-smoking tobacco laws and ordinances have been shaping and refining public spaces where cigarette smoking is acceptable since 1995. Additional public service announcements have refined our awareness to tobacco smoking in private spaces.
What is the best practice for cannabis smoke? This depends on the environment. Ultimately, cannabis smoking needs to happen in spaces where it’s permissible to smoke.
If you are bothered by cannabis smoke, you need to talk to your acquaintance and find a reasonable solution that works for both of you. Ask yourself what are the circumstances around the smoking? What aspect of the smoking is bothering you? What is the frequency, does this happen every time you see this person or on occasion? If the cannabis smoking is a social activity, your acquaintance is socializing in a way you don’t prefer. Suggest some nonsmoking cannabis alternatives, like a table top vaporizer, something that maintains the social aspect of the circle but won’t irritate your air space. If you don’t want to be involved with the smoke circle at all, schedule a different activity to do with your friend at a different time of the day.
The smoking may not be happening at your friend’s home, but in your home, instead. Maybe your acquaintance is a roommate who is disturbing you with smoking in your shared living space. Whatever the situation, create time to have a conversation. Discuss the specific problem and find solutions that will be comfortable and mindful for the both of you. Remember to express appreciation with aspects of your acquaintance you enjoy and the parts of your relationship that are working well to balance out the conversation.