The term “recreational marijuana” suggests that the user is consuming cannabis purely as an act of enjoyment, but for many, that is entirely wrong. Just because you are using cannabis without a medical recommendation doesn’t mean you’re not a patient. Every day budtenders see new customers that want to use cannabis for medical purposes and do not hold a medical recommendation. States legalizing adult-use cannabis are opening up the market to adults who want to consume for medical purposes but are not interested in obtaining a medical recommendation.
There are multiple reasons why people are disinclined to pursue a medical recommendation. Aside from the time and money to obtain one, many adults are concerned with their right to privacy and do not want to be on a list. These patients might be fearful that seeing a doctor and getting a recommendation could potentially get them in some trouble. Another reason people are reluctant to visit a cannabis doctor is they fear giving up any of rights and privileges.
Americans’ rights to keep and bear firearms is infringed when a doctor’s cannabis recommendation is obtained. Cannabis patients are barred from owning firearms and if gun stores know you have a medical cannabis recommendation, they will not sell you a firearm. Hawaii’s Honolulu Police Department issued a letter which stated, “voluntarily surrender your firearms, permit and ammunition to the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) or otherwise transfer ownership.” In early January, Pennsylvania’s Police told its citizens they cannot own guns if they are a cannabis patient.
One of the biggest reasons adults are disinclined to become a registered patient is the fear of becoming disenfranchised, and being unnecessarily searched and harassed in airports, traffic stops, and other interactions with the government. Adult-use cannabis shops do not track every purchaser’s personal information. More recently, adult use shops simply check your valid identification to confirm you are of legal age and then allow you to buy anything within your respective state’s legal limitations.
Most mature adults are using the plant for reasons beyond a fun activity. Adults are using it to relax after a hard day’s work and to allow their body and mind to recuperate so they’re ready to tackle tomorrow! As the US Navy SEALs would say, “The only easy day was yesterday!” Mixed Martial Arts fighters use CBD (cannabidiol) to reduce inflammation and damage from head trauma. Parents are using it to better connect with their family. Many adults choose cannabis as a replacement for sleeping pills. There are endless reasons why people use cannabis and studies have shown that almost all cannabis consumers consume for more than one reason. The term “recreational user” is incorrect for people using it for medical purposes. Even though these people consume cannabis without a doctor’s recommendation, they’re self-prescribing adults with the freedom to choose their medicine, and they choose cannabis.