From Total Happiness to Mad as Hell

     Well, as most everyone knows, last Friday the Supreme Court of the United States passed a ruling that allows GLTB marriage in all 50 states.  The joy I felt was overwhelming and the tears of happiness flowed freely.  Pride weekend in Loring Park was especially sweet this year as we celebrated with thousands of like minded people.  Now that the fight for marriage equality is over, my thoughts turn to other matters and my joy has turned to anger.  Let me explain...
     Tomorrow, July 1st, marks the start of the legal distribution of medical cannabis in Minnesota.  I was proud to have pushed for the law allowing the sale of medical cannabis in Minnesota and I had been proud to sit on the Governor's Task Force.  I thought that perhaps I could make a difference with  this law in the lives of many Minnesotans including those of us with HIV and AIDS.  It now seems that I was totally wrong, at least for many of us.
     Since the start of June, I have been trying to get my medical team to certify me so that I would be eligible to legally obtain medical cannabis when distribution began on July 1st.  I finally got an answer last week from my medical team that no doctor in my clinic and no doctor in my medical group was going to certifying patients for the cannabis.  I was told I could find a doctor outside my clinic that might certify me but that would require a period to build a "relationship" with the new doctor that could be 6 months or up to a year.  Add to that the fact that I have been part of the same HMO for over 20 years and they have all my records plus I have already established very good "relationships" with the medical team there, and you can see why moving to another clinic and another doctor is not in my best interest.  Especially because I have always been told that a person with a disease such as AIDS should have continuity of care and changing doctors and clinics midstream does not help at all with that.  Then there is the not so small issue of my health insurance.  Would it cover a new doctor in a new clinic?  And don't get me started when it comes to the cost.  Even if I get certified, will I be able to afford the cost of the cannabis? 
     I hear on the news that there are some who's children suffer from severe epilepsy who are all ready to pick up the cannabis tomorrow morning.  And I read in the paper that the law enforcement is worried that people using medical cannabis will be "driving under the influence".  I am happy that some who need the cannabis are able to get it but I am angry that others, like me, are not.  As far as the driving under the influence, is driving while taking Vicodin for my chronic pain any better?  It is legal and I do take it when the pain is not helped with other less addictive medications.  Is driving while taking tincture of opium better?  I do take that occasionally for my chronic diarrhea when nothing else will work.  And how many children with epilepsy are going to be driving cars?  I am still waiting for more information from my medical team and I am still waiting for an answer to an email written to a certain state Senator.  Since tomorrow is July 1st, I know that I will not hear back with any helpful answers in time to be certified soon. 
     So, here is sit, on the last day of June and I am not certified for medical cannabis and probably will not be for some time to come.  I worked to get this stupid law passed and I worked to make sure all those who needed it would be able to get it and I am one who can't.  I am pissed off, I am mad as hell!  I am almost to the point that I will go out to the street and find a dealer who can meet my needs!  Let me tell you, if I could pack up and move to Colorado or to Washington state right now, I would, without hesitation!  Minnesota is really pissing me off!  Stay tuned to this space for more to come.......     

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