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Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
? I was recently pleased when, for the first time in a couple of years, I picked up a copy of the

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Two Weed Worlds: I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Forcing sick people to look for cannabis on the black market is not sound public policy, and that's exactly the situation in Alabama. However, I also learned something else on this visit to the Deep South: An informal underground patient network looks after its own.

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Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
?I was recently pleased when, for the first time in a couple of years, I picked up a copy of the Peninsula/Kitsap edition of the Little Nickel. In a new development (since the last time I paid attention), it seems medical-marijuana-related ads have become the dominant theme at the top of the front page: Mari-Meds in Belfair (360-275-1181), Key Peninsula Collective in Lakebay (253-884-6420), Tacoma Greenthumb's Port Orchard branch (360-443-2293) and a recently opened Silverdale location (360-698-0353).

It wasn't only medical-marijuana collectives represented, either. There were also ads for authorization clinics, with offices in far-afield places like Shelton and Gig Harbor.

This is a welcome development. Safe access to the herbal medicine that works best for patients shouldn't depend on one's geographical location. Every patient who needs medical marijuana statewide should have safe access to it--that's why voters approved the law that said as much 14 years ago.

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Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
Concorde x Chronic: Alabama-grown and powerful
?Not long after happily noting this sign of progress in Washington, I visited my home state of Alabama. The visit, my first since last June, served as a stark reminder of what we have to lose in Washington if we don't insist on safe access.

Forcing sick people to look for cannabis on the black market is not sound public policy, and that's exactly the situation in Alabama. However--an important however--I also learned something else on this visit to the Deep South: An informal underground patient network looks after its own.

Incensed by my last column on the scene in Alabama, which lamented the lack of choices, quality, and safe access in the Heart of Dixie, anonymous local donors saw to it that, this time at least, I wouldn't have to suffer for lack of quality cannabis to control the symptoms of my liver and intestinal ailments. "We just don't want you going back to Seattle and writing about the bad stuff, without also mentioning the existence of some good stuff," one anonymous benefactor told me.

First to my aid was a fellow pain patient who brought me some good golden-tinged buds of uncertain origin, along with another outdoor-grown strain called Mango. Next up was a batch of powerful Concorde x Chronic. (Concorde is a cross of Purple Kush and Grand Daddy Purple.)

And finally, yet another batch of crude but powerful outdoor indica-dominant flowers looked like a Southern cousin of the Hog, the famous Tennessee indica strain. Its quick cure lent it a distinctly hay-like aroma--until I started breaking up and toking the flowers, at which point I realized that the barnyard-smelling weed had a powerful kick.

I got by with a little help from my friends. But as heartwarming as the quality-of-life cannabis donations were, I found myself looking forward to returning to Washington, where the threat of arrest is lower and where I could once again enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and superior selection of legal collectives.

Steve Elliott edits Toke of the Town, Village Voice Media's site of cannabis news, views, rumor, and humor.


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