?Jeremy Kaufman was going to be a pastor. Then he broke his neck while snowboarding, and suddenly his world changed. Harsh pharmaceutical painkillers became a fact of his everyday existence--with a plethora of horrific side effects, mental and physical. That's where medical marijuana enters the story.
Photo: Steve Elliott Committed and passionate about cannabis: Jeremy Kaufman (left) and Ben Reagan of C.P.C.
Kaufman found that medicinal cannabis eased his pain without zombie-ing him out like opioids, and that put him on the path to where he is today--a passionate advocate for medical marijuana, and co-owner (along with Ben Reagan) of the Center for Palliative Care (C.P.C.) at 74 South Lucile Street in Georgetown.
Kaufman's not shy about sharing his enthusiasm for medical marijuana, and he isn't stingy about sharing his knowledge on the subject either. Within minutes of my entering the cozy budroom at C.P.C. on a recent Sunday afternoon, he was using the shop's unique "medicine wheel" to illustrate the difference between pure sativas (daytime energy), pure indicas (nighttime relaxation), and all the useful hybrids that make up the full spectrum.
?He said his own experience of switching from pharmaceuticals to medicinal cannabis enabled him to overcome the negative effects not only of his three fused vertebrae, but also of the opiates prescribed for pain.
Photo: Steve Elliott C.P.C.'s "medicine wheel" illustrates the spectrum from pure indica to pure sativa. That's a big honkin' bud of Grandaddy Purple there on top.
"My constituents, clients, providers and volunteers truly believe in the power of this medicine and its genuine effectiveness," Kaufman told me. "It has been hard for everyone here to have to sit back and watch our industry and these products being thrashed in the media. We've been doing our best to be bastions of a new positive image for our community and this industry as a whole."
Currently, Kaufman says he's working on turning C.P.C. into a one-stop shop, complete with a curriculum on woodworking and meditation. Eventually, he says the shop will also offer a full range of cannabis cultivation courses; from the stages of growth, to growing mediums and theories, to grow house management, to organic in-home nutrient construction.
The C.P.C. has two price points for its medical marijuana: $10/gram and $12/gram. The aforementioned medicine wheel on the counter features a dozen of the $10 varieties, and a few connoisseur $12 varieties are also available. I selected two of the $12 strains: Grandaddy Purple (which Jeremy recommended for meditation and relaxation) and UW Med (a top shelf strain reportedly developed right here in Seattle).
The UW Med is an interesting 50/50 indica/sativa cross with salutary medical effects, a lucid high, and great sustain. The buds have more a sativa appearance, heavily frosted but not overly dense, with a subtle aroma (many strains before medical legalization were bred to minimize the smell).
Grandaddy Purple is an indica-dominant, dark-hued weed with a bouquet reminiscent of a rogue skunk in a grape arbor. The high is more alert and energetic than many indicas, although in larger amounts it can be sedating. Its enduring effects and smooth buzz have garnered it several awards in competition.
The C.P.C. is open weekdays noon to 7 p.m., except for Tuesdays when it's closed. Saturday and Sunday hours are 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. You can contact Kaufman and the shop at www.thecpc.org/contact or phone toll-free at (888) 972-1555. Patient authorization and Washington ID are required.
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Steve Elliott edits Toke of the Town, Village Voice Media's site of cannabis news, views, rumor and humor.