The car hop

On a gray winter day, an elderly gentleman sits in his car in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. I pulled in a few minutes before him to eat a quick lunch on the way to an appointment. I’m minding own business, eating my sandwich, when a younger man hops into the passenger seat of the older gentleman’s car.

He is the perfect stereotype of a drug dealer; dark clothes, baggy jeans, and a gray sweatshirt with the hood obscuring his face.

Young man wearing a hoodie with his face in the shadows
Young man wearing a hoodie with his face in the shadows

Was this a drug deal?

My first thought was, “I am watching a drug deal go down”. My second thought was, “this should not be happening in 2017”. This gentleman should be able to walk into a dispensary and make his purchase legally. Instead, he is risking arrest in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant.

That was not the first time I saw a drug deal go down and I don’t think it will be the last. There is a level of safety and anonymity when you are in your car surrounded by other cars, for both the buyer and the seller.

Medical or recreational use

Obviously, I don’t know why he was buying weed. He was a “boomer” and the assumption on my part was that the purchase was for recreational use. The other obvious reason for the purchase was for medical reasons. He or a family member is suffering from a debilitating disease, anxiety, or depression and is trying to find some relief by smoking a blunt.

Right about now you are probably wondering why I am ruminating about parking lot drug deals. That just sounds bad and it conjures a disturbing visual image, but I recently read an article about the stigma that is still attached to the use of Cannabis. Medical and recreational use of Cannabis continues to be illegal in many states.

Are you talking to your doctor about plant-based alternatives

Honest and open conversations are not taking place between patients and physicians. These conversations have to come out of the parking lot and into the doctor’s office.

Patients and doctors are disconnected when it comes to conversations about the efficacy of Cannabis and CBD as alternative treatments to patient issues, such as anxiety, depression, and pain.

Patients don’t disclose to their physicians they are using Cannabis for relief or relaxation; however non-disclosure can have serious repercussions because Cannabis and CBD can interact with prescription medications like Coumadin and certain blood pressure medications.

When patients do tell their physicians about using Cannabis, doctors tend to gloss over what they just heard and respond with “we don’t know the dangers of Cannabis” or “it’s illegal”, or “I don’t support using drugs”, etc, etc, etc. Doctors need to see the research to prove to them about the efficacy of Cannabis. They need education about CBD. But right now it’s not generally available.

We need to keep pushing forward on legalization and laboratory studies. We need to unlock the full benefits and side effects of Cannabis and CBD so consumers and doctors can make educated decisions about patient care.

Sales of herbal remedies need to be legal and out in the open and available to consumers at licensed dispensaries and shops. Or even directly from their doctor.

Article updated: 4 October 2019

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