Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Process

I decided to go with Alternative Medical Choices to get my medical marijuana recommendation. I really liked that they offered other services, besides Medical Marijuana recommendations. They also have therapeutic massage, acupuncture, Reiki, and yoga. The steps for the approval process are similar throughout the different clinics...

When I went to the appointment to see the doctor, I was very nervous. I dislike doctors greatly, and most of the ones I've talked to about my Marijuana use have told me to quit using it because it is harmful, and pretty much all of them were not very receptive to my telling them otherwise. I also hate being poked and prodded and compared to textbook statistics and symptoms. I've had a couple doctors tell me that I am making everything up, I've had others tell me I was I addicted to the pain pills THEY prescribed for me and told me to take. When a certain medication doesn't work or makes me feel horrible, I've even had doctors tell me that I couldn't possibly know what I am talking about and that I wouldn't know the difference between "the real medication and a sugar pill."

So I was not too eager to go see another doctor. Regardless that it was specifically for Medical Marijuana.

The clinic was very nice and welcoming. It looked like it used to be a house that had been converted into office space. It was very professional, and I was treated exactly like a patient. I was asked to fill out forms including receipt of HIPPA, provide my medical records and identification to be copied for their files, and then I was taken to a room in the back for their nurse to record my vitals. The nurse was very kind and she checked things like my weight, pulse, and blood pressure. After she had performed all the essential tests and discussed with me my medical record as she took notes, I was taken back to waiting room, instead of being left to sit and wait for the doctor in that little room. (Which I absolutely detest doing by the way.)

Just as I began to sit down, the doctor was ready to see me. He was very kind, and listened intently as I explained my medical history. He performed his own tests, such as listening to my lungs, and checking my abdomen where I showed him it hurt. He went over the doctors notes, discussed my previous medications, and then asked questions as he filled out the paperwork for the medical recommendation. I was amazed at how much time the doctor actually spent with me. Most doctors are in and out of the room so fast you almost wonder if they were ever actually there to begin with as you sit and wait for them to come back with a prescription. This doctor took the time to discuss the risks and benefits of the medication with me, and made sure that I didn't have any questions before handing my own file to me to be taken up to the nurse. I was able to look at every thing the doctor had written, and after the nurses at the front went over everything with me (like where to take the recommendation for filing with OMMP), they gave me back all of my original files, the original medical recommendation, as well as copies of the doctors notes for MY RECORDS. They also gave me a map of where to find the OMMP office, which was only a short distance away from where the clinic was located so I could immediately file my paperwork. (You have 90 days, but protection doesn't begin until it is stamped received by OMMP)

But it wasn't until after all of that was all completed that they requested payment. Usually when I go to the doctor, I have to give them a copy of my insurance first thing. Payment first, health care second.  I absolutely loved the atmosphere and the quality of care I received during the entire experience.

So, shortly after receiving my recommendation, I submitted the paperwork to the OMMP.

The paperwork requires that you fill out patient information, care giver information (if applicable), grower information, and grow location.

The OMMP office is on the second floor of the Department of Human Services building. Be sure to get there by 4:45 or you do not get a number and you can't get in without a number. (or so I was told)

After they give you a number, you wait in line. There were like 5 people before me when I got there at 4:42pm. (talk about stressful, stupid Portland traffic)
The cost to file is $100, or $20 with proof of assistance. Bring copies of all proof of assistance and your drivers license, and the license of your caregiver, and grower.

When your number is called, you go into a room with two windows divided by a wall. It is very private. There isn't anyone waiting in a line behind you. You give your paperwork to the clerk, who makes sure it is all in order. Then it is stamped and you are given a receipt for payment, and a 1 full set of copies, and 2 copies of the original application. These are also stamped. The clerk explains how you are protected and when you will receive your cards. It happens very quickly. The greatest thing is that the moment that paperwork is stamped, you become a legal Medical Marijuana patient in the state of Oregon.

After almost 6 years of having no other choice but to illegally consume the only medication that gives me a better quality of life and allows me to be a functioning mother for my family, I am finally legal under state law.

Unfortunately, federal law continues to apply, despite that the law contradicts state law and is unconstitutional.
So we keep moving forward in our fight to make this miraculous medicine available to everyone.


  1. I know it's been over a year since you made this post, but have visited your old blog off and on and was happy to see you're in a more cannabis-friendly state. Too bad things have gotten worse lately from the Federal side.
    Hope you're enjoying Oregon. Looking forward to future posts. You have a helpful blog. Thanks.

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