Medical-marijuana patients are in collective denial

David Maass reports:

Patient X decides to pursue the simplest path to obtaining medical marijuana.

He visits the office of a doctor who specializes in medical-marijuana evaluations. If Patient X can articulate why marijuana would help alleviate his condition, the doctor issues what’s essentially a prescription: a one-page “recommendation.” It costs maybe $30 or $40, depending on whether Patient X has a coupon.

Patient X uses an iPhone app to locate the closest collective. In the lobby, he fills out a few pages of paperwork and hands over his recommendation and California-issued photo ID (e.g. driver’s license) to be photocopied or scanned. Once his recommendation is verified, Patient X is allowed to join the collective as a private member and access the part of the dispensary where he can purchase marijuana. The whole process can take less than an hour.

Throughout the process, Patient X’s anonymity has the potential to be compromised. He’s leaving a trail of sensitive data: medical information and evidence that he procured a drug that’s still illegal under federal law.

Read more on San Diego City Beat.

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