What is Santa smoking?
Ho, ho ho it’s Christmas, a very Merry Canna Christmas at Southwest Wellness in Taos!
And as always, there’s plenty of product on their shelves to make your Christmas a very happy one indeed.
The outcome of November’s election puts New Mexico in position to advance marijuana legalization through the state legislature. Our new Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham has been an ardent supporter of the state’s medical cannabis program; helping implement the program while she was Secretary of Health as well as supporting congressional legislation to allow veterans access to medical cannabis.
She also supports the legalization of marijuana.
In addition to Grisham’s win, several newly elected State Legislative House of Representatives, have publicly stated their support for legalization of marijuana. And like Grisham, these Representatives all back reforms to reduce drug overdose deaths and implementing sensible criminal justice reform that include treatment instead of incarceration for people struggling with addiction.
Emily Kaltenbach, New Mexico state director at Drug Policy Alliance says that: “Marijuana legalization has a good chance of becoming a reality in New Mexico in the coming years with our new governor and a more supportive legislature. Michelle Lujan Grisham will move drug policy reform forward in New Mexico – reform that has been stalled for the last eight years during the Martinez administration.”
She continues. “Lujan Grisham understands that drug laws and policies should be grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. She has a solid plan to address our state’s decades-long opioid overdose crisis. And, she is supporting the legalization of marijuana for the right reasons – to better restrict minors’ access to marijuana, protect accessibility for those with medicinal needs, and reinvest in communities most harmed by prohibition.”
But realistically this could take (as Kaltenbach states above), a few years, but if you’ve been following my posts on SWW, you’ll have noticed I’ve made it a point to mention how simple it actually is to apply for and receive, a Medical Marijuana card in New Mexico.
With Medical professionals on the premises to assist you, it’s a cake walk.
I meet regularly with Will Hooper (SWWellness’ new Social Media Director), who is a very articulate Millennial with a degree in Journalism, and more than a passing interest in Weed Culture. Will moved here full time from the East Coast with his girlfriend, after spending a winter working in Taos Ski Valley. He is very hands on at the facility working in greenhouses when he’s not online promoting the product they grow.
One afternoon last week, I sat down with Will and asked him a few questions about the process and why more people aren’t taking advantage of the program.
Q) Why do you think registration (for the Medical Cannabis Program) has so far, mostly been limited to chronically ill patients, when it’s so easy to get a card?
WH) I think when some folks, especially millennials, think about getting their medical card they imagine a long, involved process with multiple doctor’s appointments and lots of money. What people fail to realize is just how relatively simple it is to apply for your medical cannabis card.
Q) How difficult is the actual process?
WH) Our budtenders (at Southwest Wellness),can easily refer patients to a registered medical professional. The whole appointment process is only about half an hour, and then 3-6 weeks later you get your card in the mail, it really is that simple.
Q) People I’ve talked to, say that signing up for the program creates problems in other arenas, for instance owning a firearm?
WH) One common misconception I’ve heard around town is that you can’t own a gun if you get a medical marijuana card. This just simply isn’t true. Now it is illegal to carry a weapon and cannabis on your person at the same time, but the status of having a medical card (specifically with a PTSD diagnosis) does not change your legal right to bear arms Yes, the second amendment still applies to you even if you have a medical card.
Q) Can you tell my readers a little about what to expect once they sign up?
WH) Cannabis consumers our there who don’t have their card don’t know what they’re missing! There are so many benefits to obtaining your med card; you can pick and choose strains and find out what really works for you, you get access to some of the highest quality cannabis in the entire state, and the best part: you can LEGALLY possess cannabis!
Q) What in your opinion, is the best reason to become a Cannabis Card carrying citizen?
WH) Being able to legally possess and grow cannabis is definitely the best reason to get a card in my opinion. For too many years, the laws have been stacked against cannabis. Now that we have this legal opportunity to access it, I don’t see why everyone who can doesn’t take advantage.
Q) Do you think perhaps there is still some stigma attached to weed – shades of Reefer Madness still hanging around?
WH) Possibly. But one day in the -hopefully- not too distant future we will see the stigma around cannabis fizzle out like it has been slowly state-by-state, and we will be in a wonderful world filled with legal cannabis. Until then, why take the risk, get your card
Q) We seem to be on the fast track to legalization – what would you say to fence-sitters who would rather wait it out?
WH) Even when it has reached the point of full recrealization, we as consumers will face no shortage of cannabis taxes. Having your medical card will make a big difference in the taxes you end up paying. Plus medical patients have access to certain products and strains that aren’t available to the recreational consumer.
Put that in your pipe and make like Santa.
On second thought, perhaps you better hide your stash this year when you hear those Jingle Bells!
For more on Southwest Wellness in Taos, and everything they offer, please visit their site linked below. And follow them on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram!
Middle images of flowers and product, thanks to Will Hooper and Southwest Wellness. Other images,stock files.