So, Monday morning, as I arrived at work, Sarah sent a text to our group chat asking WTF is up with Terp Street? For those who don’t know, this silly little state makes the growers/suppliers use made up “medical sounding names” instead of the street strains we’ve all heard for decades. For example, the rest of y’all may know it as Grand Daddy Purple. Here in CT., you ask for Purplex. None of us like it – we all think it’s dumb. Let’s move on.
The Department of Consumer Protection runs the medical marijuana program in CT., this becomes important in a little bit.
Enter Terp Street – an online listing of the names of the strains, along with the silly CT name, and a lengthy, informative description of the genetic make up of the strain, including terpenes. Thousands of the medical patients here in CT relied heavily on that database. We could select strains based on all the most recent scientific data available – what terpenes work for what conditions. We did this to prevent an interaction between our cannabis medication and our BigPharma medication. We did it based on the symptoms we were experiencing, knowing that using cannabis to stop racing thoughts, and ingesting a lot of the Sativa strains will send your brain into overdrive, and trigger a potentially dangerous anxiety attack, and potentially one of those oft-complained of, paranoia attack.
Terp Street was invaluable. Almost all medical patients I know, including myself, would look up the silly CT names, and read up about the strain we are looking at.
So, Monday, Sarah texts – WTF is up with Terp Street? Time to investigate – yup – the site is down. Let’s do a google search – shows up – click on link – nope. Can’t connect to the server. What the heck? Jump on Instagram – no explanation, but a lot of folks posting about it.
An Instagram Post. I’m paraphrasing, but essentially it said “DCP has decided we can’t continue to operate. Thanks for the support.” What?????????
Cue up CT Medical Cannabis pages – there were screams from the rooftops – devastation swept the land. Then, anger set in. Why? For what reason did this happen? Remember when I said to remember the Department of Consumer Protection runs the medical cannabis program? This is where it becomes important. That doesn’t sound like it’s protecting the consumer, at all. Not in the absolute least. In fact, quite the opposite. It’s endangering the consumer. Their ruling contradicts – directly – what their role as a governmental agency should be doing. It’s literally breaking its own code of ethics.
Tuesday, another Instagram post… again, paraphrasing.
“Person from X dispensary sent a complaint to DCP. And person from Y dispensary sent in a complaint to DCP. As a result of their investigation, we all lose. Thanks for the support.”
Well, now we know. Two people from two dispensaries took issue with patients having free access to their medication’s potential strengths and/or weaknesses for their particular medical condition. Yes, two dispensary employees – reportedly managers of the dispensary – decided that patients should be left without resources.
I won’t name names of those involved, or the dispensaries. There are probably some very good people working there who are now in fear for their jobs. I’m predicting a mass exodus from those dispensaries as word gets passed along. They pretty much just told every medical patient that they don’t matter.
And if you are someone who can smoke anything, any time and not have any of those issues that may be problematic, awesome. So happy for you. But, for someone like me, who primarily uses for pain relief and control over tremors, certain strains may contradict what I need that day. Terp Street was invaluable to look up whatever strains I had on hand, and I could choose what I needed, based on what was going on with my body.
These two people have let down the entire medical marijuana community in the State of Connecticut. The governor – when he signed the recreational bill into law – said CT was a leader in the medical cannabis program. Don’t believe him. This ruling by the Department of Consumer Protection is so beyond counter-productive, and dangerous for the thousands of medical cannabis patients in the state.
We do have another option, albeit not nearly as convenient as Terp Street, but Dabbin Dad, combined with a google search might yield you some answers, usually links to Leafly. But, it’s a clumsy, time consuming process. We’ve been let down by the very governmental agency that is supposed to protect us from things like this.
By having medical marijuana laws in your state, you are – essentially – stating that you believe that this has medicinal properties, and may be used as such.
As a result of that, does it not then become imperative to disclose the contents of the medication in both doctor-ese and plain language to the consumer, so that they make an informed decision about their own treatment plan? That is what the CT Department of Consumer Protection has taken away from us. Why? What are they trying to hide?
Friends, make no mistake, CT medical marijuana patients are still under fire – despite legalization. We are still treated differently by educators, employers, and some segments of society. We do not have equal rights to our medication like those who choose to use products by #BigPharma. Look in your employee handbooks. You will see nothing stated about use of opioids or anti anxiety – mood lifting medications. You will, however, see a definitive prohibition of cannabis. If your co-worker in the next spot over took a Vicodin to relieve his pain, your HR department probably wouldn’t even react. If you, however, took a single gummi bear to relieve your own pain, your HR department will likely be walking you out of the facility.
Can I just interject here, that last week, I had to listen to someone talk about the fact that “the high you get from prescriptions is different from the high you get from weed. That weed will make you psychotic.”
Dear Sweet Baby Jesus, we still fighting the whole “Reefer Madness”? Y’all, come on. If that was even remotely true, probably 70+ percent of the population would be psychotic.
Legalization is great and all, but medical patients, we still have a long way to go for our rights. And the DCP just stripped us of another one, all because two people got on some ego trip about patients having free and open access to information about the medicine we use.
I don’t know where we go from here. But, I think patients need to get together and look to the legislators for our medical rights. Demand to be treated like every other medically compromised person. Equal access to our medication and equal treatment under the law.