Commence with the silly stoner jokes.
But, in all seriousness, a medical marijuana dispensary opened on Route 66 in downtown Williams, Ariz., in late January. Naturally, the clinic is called the Route 66 Wellness Center.
According to the report in the Williams-Grand Canyon News, the dispensary serves about a dozen patients, although about 60 people in the region legally grow their own marijuana.
But don’t get the idea that roadies can walk in off the street and buy a few ounces of weed for a headache. It’s more complicated than that:
When a medical marijuana cardholder arrives at the dispensary, they must put their card in a cardholder outside the door. Cameras allow staff to zoom in on the card, and if it is valid, staff will buzz in the patient.
The next step is to run the medical marijuana card through a state verification system to confirm the patient has not already purchased the limit of 2 1/2 ounces of medical marijuana in a two-week period.
Once cleared, patients may look at the products available. […]
When the patient has decided what they want, dispensary staff weighs the product and puts it in a medicine bottle with a label containing the patient’s identification number, the dispensary information, and the strain of medical marijuana.
“It looks just like a pharmacy label,” Wuensche said. “They tried to make it as professional as possible.”
According to a medical marijuana dispensary locator site, Route 66 Wellness Center is the first such dispensary to open in a Route 66 town in Arizona. Another dispensary was planned on Route 66 at the Arrowhead Lodge in Flagstaff, but it hasn’t opened and it remains unknown whether the owner is pursuing it.
Arizona voters in 2010 approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes. At least 19 states have at least partly decriminalized marijuana, with voters in two more states moving that direction during the 2012 election.
It may look odd, but get used to it, folks. It probably won’t be another decade before a majority of U.S. states makes pot legal.
(Image of a neon sign in West Hollywood, Calif., by “Caveman Chuck” Coker, via Flickr)