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Medical Marijuana Better Than Recreational Marijuana? Not.

The myth that cannabis that is medical is somehow stronger and or higher in quality than recreational cannabis is pervasive, especially in unfortunate areas of the country that don’t yet enjoy legal recreational marijuana.

It’s a myth, people! Soon to be de-bunked by everyone on the planet, as the world switches over from prohibition, to medical and then to the inevitable – recreational. Legal, recreational marijuana … cannabis, weed – there are many names. All of them LEGAL! Here in Washington, at least.

Medical marijuana in Washington is unregulated. As in: NOT REGULATED. No regulation! Half of the medical dispensaries are not paying taxes. Most all of the medical product being sold out there is not tested, and since there is NO REGULATION, test results can’t be trusted anyway.

Medical pot is hit or miss. I know, since I got my first authorization seven years ago. Some of the Seattle dispensaries are on the level, and have consistently good products, but most are not. A lot of grey areas in that world, none of which benefit the consumer.

Let’s compare and contrast medical, which right now is UNREGULATED, and recreational – which is highly taxed and regulated and supervised by the State.

Medical pot shop proprietors may or may not be paying sales, B&O, payroll or Federal taxes. Recreational shops are paying taxes, the proceeds of which fund essential government functions. Paying taxes is part of participating in a civil society. Civilization.

Medical marijuana is not tested. Recreational is tested under the close supervision of the Liquor Board. It’s true that the system has not been perfected (See: World’s strongest weed? Potency testing challenged link: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2025378921_pottesting1xml.html) but is that not better than NO system? Look for test results – and additional testing for pesticides – to be rock solid by the end of 2015, if not sooner.

At your typical Seattle medical place, it’s likely some dude is grubbing nugs for you out of an open jar – a smell jar, I call it. Lots of people poking their noses in it as it gets opened and closed all day long. At a recreational place – no smell jars.

And that SMELL. Is there no grubbier, danker smell than the typical dispensary? That reekage is unprofessional. A recreational shop (like Ike’s Pot Shop) smells cleaner, more civilized. A liquor store does not reek of stale booze, does it?

A medical shop probably features a dude weighing out weed on a mini-cocaine scale. All products are carefully weighed and verified and packaged beforehand at a recreational place.

One thing that people who aren’t liars dislike is hypocrisy. Example: The “medical” outlet I used to go to never once asked my name, or what my illness was, or offered any advice on what strains might be helpful for my condition. This place did not resemble a pharmacy. They had no cash register and gave no receipts. They exist (for now) to make as much money possible, by all means necessary. Not a concept where helping sick patients is a priority, or a place that prioritized quality bud.

If given a choice between buying cannabis with no provenance — you don’t know who is selling it to you, where it came from, or what it is — how would one not go with the sane, tested, labelled and regulated option? Sure, the prices are higher right now, but that will change over time.

My Washington medical authorization just expired, and I won’t be renewing it, now that the recreational retail outlets are starting to open. The medical industry in Washington was unable to step up and self-regulate. The end result of that episode of stupidity and greed is a smaller customer base for them. Thousands of people like me are dropping out of the medical system. The end of the free ride for tax cheats and purveyors of questionable product has arrived.

Good news for lovers of high quality cannabis.

The myth that cannabis that is medical is somehow stronger and or higher in quality than recreational cannabis is pervasive, especially in unfortunate areas of

Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana: What’s the Difference?

We’re glad you asked. Check out this breakdown of just a few of the differences between medical and recreational marijuana.

Shopping Experience

Generally speaking, most (Colorado) dispensaries have a medical side and a recreational side, meaning med patients have a designated area where only they can shop, and recreational shoppers must remain on the rec side (med patients do have the ability to go between both in the event the med side is unavailable or does not have what they need).

THC Potency Limits

Despite the popular belief that medical patients have access to higher doses of THC in a given cannabis product, there is not actual difference between medical and recreational marijuana. It can be as simple as two different plants of the same strain being grown on different sides of the grow house: one for recreational sale and one for medical use. It’s probably easier to find higher THC percentages in rec flower for the simple fact there are more rec grows than med grows in Colorado.

Quantity Limits + Plant Count

In Colorado, the limit on what recreational customers can purchase in 28 grams, whereas the limit for medical patients is higher. The same holds true when it comes to a recreational user growing plants vs a medical patient growing their medicine. For more information on the laws surrounding this topic, click here .

Case-Specific Access for Minors

There are some states that allow minors access to marijuana products if they suffer from specific conditions or ailments that require marijuana to fill in the gaps where traditional medications may not do the trick. A “minor applicant” is defined as a patient less than 21 years of age. In the event a minor requires medical marijuana in the state of Colorado, they must have two doctors sign off, and additionally must acquire their medication at a medical-only dispensary (OR the dispensary must have med and rec products in different rooms). For further details on medical access for minors in Colorado, click here .

There is still a divide when it comes to the acceptance of recreational marijuana vs. medical marijuana use. A greater percentage of Americans support medical cannabis than recreational adult use, although it is more commonly accepted now that one does not need to be suffering from a condition in order to consume. Some recreational users (or medical users) have found a product that helps them with other ailments while shopping for a primary remedy, which furthers the acceptance of cannabis culture.

Cannabis is still a relatively new legal product, however, the lines between medical and recreational use have been clearly drawn. In Colorado, the rules are set so there is as little confusion as possible when one enters a dispensary. Even though it may seem complicated at first, with a closer look and a quick study, one can easily decipher the dos and don’ts of the recreational and medical marijuana industry.

Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana: What’s the Difference? We’re glad you asked. Check out this breakdown of just a few of the differences between medical and recreational marijuana. Shopping