In the last post I already mentioned how Venice was also a little weird and sketchy. Well, “Marijuana Way” would definitely be the more appropriate name for Venice’s beach promenade :) Every other store is either a “pipe shop” with inifinite numbers of bongs, pipes, bubblers, hookahs and many more things in stock, or it is a “medical marijuana evaluation center”, i.e. a place that checks out if you’re eligible for a medical marijuana card.
Before I came here, and I think most Germans thought the same way, I thought that medical marijuana was kind of like a last resort medicine given to terminally ill cancer patients for whom standard pain killers won’t do the job anymore…or something like that. Buuuuuut no. In California, medical marijuana is used against all kinds of things like back pains, migrane attacks, depression, and so on, and all it takes to get one of those cards in Venice is to walk into one of those stores, pay your $40 and tell the doctor about some symptoms that you have, true or not, it won’t matter because they don’t really seem to care about that anyways :D
I don’t really know how the whole process works in other places, but in Venice it really is ridiculously easy to get one of those cards. To me, it’s just so funny and almost too weird to believe it, in Germany they’re so strict about any kind of drugs and here they completely legalized it. In my opinion that’s not partly legalized anymore, because at least in Venice literally anyone (who is a California Resident over the age of 18) can get themselves one of those cards and legally smoke marijuana. And now you know why the streets of Venice are so crowded on a sunday… :P
It’s just ridiculous how they even advertise the whole thing! And even though it all looks very sketchy, those are real doctors licensed by the California Board of Medical Care or something like that.
I’m pretty sure that the whole Californian attitude towards weed (that basically everyone smokes, and nobody makes a big deal out of it) was the biggest culture shock for me so far. It just amazes me again and again :D