Another class, “Advanced Medical Cannabis,” is taught
by Dr. Jeffrey Hergenrather of Sonoma County, chair of the
national Society of Cannabis Clinicians, wearing a shirt and
tie and shoulder-length ponytail. “A lot of people have been
involved in this science for many years,” he says in an interview, “and I think we are collectively able to tell the story and
shed some light on the utility of cannabinoids and cannabis in
the management and treatment of many different diseases.”
All without any tie-dye in sight.
Indeed, some of the tension over medical marijuana in
Marin likely does stem from the legacy of recreational use
and back-to-the-land counterculture of the 1960s. But before
the hippies, and even before marijuana was made illegal by
the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, doctors were prescribing cannabis. In fact, the American Medical Association opposed the
1937 act. “How far it may serve to deprive the public of the
benefits of a drug that on further research may prove to be of
substantial value, it is impossible to foresee,” the organization
asserted in a letter to Congress.
Nearly eight decades later, the issue remains unresolved.
Nowhere is that more true than in California, and certainly
in Marin, where voters helped launch a national movement
to legalize medical marijuana in 1996 but in many cases still
lack reliably safe access to it.
That’s motivation enough for Dale Gieringer, director of
the marijuana advocacy organization California NORML,
which ultimately aims to repeal prohibition altogether.
“There absolutely has to be an ability to access marijuana
for every medical marijuana patient in California,” he says,
“no matter where they are.” M
Cannabis is currently prescribed
to treat more than 50 different
ailments, including AIDS, chronic
pain, spasticity, glaucoma,
migraines, epilepsy, bipolar disorder
and multiple sclerosis.
Opposite: The strain “Dutch
Crunch”; THC products. This
page, clock wise from left: A
close-up view; marijuana analysis
at Delta Delivery; the strain
“Girl Scout Cookies”; the strain