just legalize it already
Converted trailers help rural residents get medical marijuana.
A rodeo cowboy with a bum shoulder, a middle-aged woman who has trouble sleeping and a handful of snowboarders are all crowded around a shiny aluminum trailer on a sunny winter day. Some clutch X-rays, others look around nervously hoping a neighbor won’t spot them as they wait in line for a medical marijuana prescription.
State-sanctioned marijuana dispensaries now outnumber Starbucks in Colorado. But outside Denver and Boulder, few doctors are comfortable dealing with medical marijuana. Now, residents in rural Colorado towns like Salida can see a doctor who are willing to prescribe medical marijuana aboard two shiny aluminum vintage airstream trailers, which have been converted into mobile doctors’ offices.
The trailers criss-cross the state, providing exams for new patients and access to medical marijuana for those deemed eligible. It’s all part of the Medical Marijuana Assistance Program of America, the brainchild of Vincent Palazzotto, a 37-year-old entrepreneur.
A doctor must first examine would-be patients and, if the physician signs off, the state of Colorado will issue a card allowing these patients to buy marijuana from dispensaries around the state. An exam costs $100, but Palazzotto said he operates on a sliding scale for patients who can’t afford to pay the full price.
“Right now our doctors will see 10% of our patients for free and we can provide a 30 to 50% discount to disabled veterans as well as other folks in need in programs like Medicaid and Medicare,” said Palazzotto. David Faulk, a 52-year-old tree-cutter, is one of those waiting in line to see if he qualifies for a prescription. He says the ibuprofen he’s been using to treat his chronic pain just isn’t enough.
The mobile clinic has saved him a 300-mile round trip drive to Denver, the nearest place where he could find a doctor willing to write a recommendation for medical marijuana. Ten years ago, Colorado voters passed a constitutional amendment allowing for the medical use of marijuana, but it remains against federal law. Two years ago, the Obama administration signaled that it would no longer go after medical marijuana in states that have legalized it.
Hahaha, I love this. Colorado’s economy must be thriving with all these indirect effects of medicalizing marijuana