OB Time: Going Legal After 50 Years

by on February 23, 2015 · 9 comments

in California, Culture, Ocean Beach

Old Hippie ob timeThe Ol’ OB Hippie Writes

I’m finally going legal after 50 years – or at least almost 50 years. I started smoking pot when I was a freshman in college. And I still smoke – but the other day, I went legal and obtained my medical marijuana card, and now I can smoke legally for the first time in a half century. And god I need it – for all my genuine ailments, from chronic back pain to insomnia to other problems whose symptoms are relieved by the inhalation of the medicinal gift from nature.

Actually my very first joint was during my first year’s Christmas break – I was going to college on the East Coast and had flown home for the 2 week break. Pot smoking literally exploded here in OB and Point Loma in 1966-67. It blew up in OB. And of course, PLHS was called “Pot Loma” after that large bust behind the church – I think – in 1968. Plus we all thought it would be legal by 1976. Seriously.

Of course over the decades, I’ve had to rely on the black market for my weed. Pot is a funny thing – first you smoke it and  hide it from your parents, then later, you smoke it and hide it from your kids.

But – yea! – I’m finally legal.

I don’t know exactly why it took me so long to get my license to smoke. The initiative passed in 1996. Medicinal marijuana has been legal to smoke for almost 20 years.

Not sure exactly. But I think my generation was simply reluctant to go and get registered and potentially get on some government list of pot smokers that would be rounded up in case of a pot emergency. I don’t know. We just don’t trust the government – local or national. Local – here in good ol’ San Diego, medical weed has been soooo welcome. Wasn’t it our very own District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis who took the issue to the California Supreme Court? And lost – but really? All that money spent on trying to fight it.

And the City of San Diego – after 19 years with the statute on the books that marijuana can be medicinally harvested and smoked – STILL does not have a “legal” pot shop yet. A couple are going through the expensive process. But the limitations on them are fairly ridiculous. Here in OB – the hippie capital of San Diego – where marijuana has been smoked in mass quantities since the late Sixties – is totally off-limits.  The restrictions are so tight that even OB can’t have one – a legal one – that is.

So, back to the matter at hand. Going legal.

I urge my friends who need it to go ahead and be certified, get legal.  I did it for $40 and filled out a 4 page questionnaire on my medical and health history, sat down with a medical doctor, who said I qualified. I was given a signed Letter of Recommendation.  This is the important document. I didn’t actually get a card for an extra $10. I’ve  heard nobody accepts the cards anyhow.  Everybody wants to see your original Letter of Recommendation. You just have to get them renewed every year.

It was a fairly non-chalet and quick process. From walking into the doctor’s office on University Avenue, doing the questionnaire and the interview, I walked out with my letter 20 minutes later.

And natch – I had to go visit my first dispensary right after getting my license to smoke after all these years. My buddy found one close by on weedmaps. Right over on 35th and El Cajon.

We walked into the minimalist storefront – a guard was walking around outside – handed my Letter and California ID to a person inside a room behind a thick window, filled out a brief questionnaire that needed my signature. Once I  had been approved to be a member of the collective, I was ushered into the room where the wares and products were.

There was one long glass counter with 3 levels directly in front of us and 2 other counters off to each side in the room.  A couple of young guys staffed the counters. Each level had different qualities of pot, with the very top holding the “top shelf” in glass containers.  On the wall behind the counters were the numbers, the prices, the quantities of the different qualities. Gram prices ranged from $10 to $19. And brief descriptions, such as “sativa”, “indica”, or the most common, “hybrid”.

Plus all new patients are treated to some kind of freebie or real cheap price on something. You can ask to look, smell and even touch the flowers of the different containers.  Under the counter on the right were the edibles. Lots of different, very professional, very commercial packaging of chocolates and much more.

Now that I’ve been approved to be a member, I can return to this dispensary as long as I bring my Letter. It was open from 8 am to midnight.

So, that was it – I returned home able to smoke weed legally – for the first time after all those years of hiding it from my parents, my kids, the cops.

My buddy told me a couple of days later that the dispensary we had visited already had closed. “Oh, it’ll reopen somewhere else soon,” he said. “And then they’ll stand open until somebody else makes a complaint.” Then the whole process begins again.

They say that 2016 is the year for California – that the initiative to legalize pot will be on that years ballot and it will certainly pass then. It’s not 1976 – it will be 40 years later. And it will be about time.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian Kelly February 23, 2015 at 11:09 am

In the prohibitionist’s world, anybody who consumes the slightest amount of marijuana responsibly in the privacy of their own homes are “stoners” and “dopers” that need to be incarcerated in order to to protect society.

In their world, any marijuana use equates to marijuana abuse, and it is their God given duty to worry about “saving us all” from the “evils” of marijuana use.

Who are they to tell us we can’t choose marijuana, the safer choice instead of alcohol for relaxation, after a long, hard day, in the privacy of our own homes?

People who use marijuana are smart, honest, hard working, educated, and successful people too, who “follow the law” also.(except for their marijuana consumption under it’s current prohibition of course) .

Not the stereotypical live at home losers prohibitionists make us out to be. We are doctors, lawyers, professors, movie stars, and politicians too.

Several Presidents of The United States themselves, along with Justin Trudeau, Bill Gates, and Carl Sagan have all confessed to their marijuana use. As have a long and extensive list of successful people throughout history at one point or other in their lives.

Although that doesn’t mean a dam thing to people who will make comments like “dopers” and “stoners” about anybody who uses the slightest amount of Marijuana although it is way safer than alcohol.

To these people any use equals abuse, and that is really ignorant and full of hypocrisy. While our society promotes, advertises, and even glorifies alcohol consumption like it’s an All American pastime.

There is nothing worse about relaxing with a little marijuana after a long hard day than having a drink or two of alcohol.

So come off those high horses of yours. Who are you to dictate to the rest of society that we can’t enjoy Marijuana, the safer choice over alcohol, in the privacy of our own homes?

We’ve worked real hard our whole lives to provide for our loved ones. We don’t appreciate prohibitionists trying to impose their will and morals upon us all.

Has a marijuana user ever forced you to use it? Probably not. So nobody has the right to force us not to either.

Don’t try to impose your morality and “clean living” upon all of us with Draconian Marijuana Laws, and we won’t think you’re such prohibitionist hypocrites.

Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!


dd February 23, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Hey calm down stoner


dd February 23, 2015 at 2:39 pm

just trollin, i’m legal too heyo


Goatskull February 24, 2015 at 8:48 am

“In the prohibitionist’s world, anybody who consumes the slightest amount of marijuana responsibly in the privacy of their own homes are “stoners” and “dopers” that need to be incarcerated in order to to protect society.”

It’s been my experience that the majority of vocal anti pot people have in reality used it quite a bit themselves or have at least tried it. In other words, hypocrites.


mjt February 23, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Ol Hippie, I started smoking in 66. In 73 I was growing it in my moms basement on the east coast. I had a bag of Panama Red seeds the size of a grapefruit. Well life takes one this way and that. The plants were beautiful, they reached the ceiling. The book, Growing Indoor Under Lights, was my guide.
A friend came by and said lets move to North Carolina and open a restaurant.
I cut down my beautiful friends and left town.
In 2010 I was back in California, lived in San Francisco in 69 and 70.
It took about a year before I got my medical cannabis card. Since then, I have visited at least 2 dozen shops. My favorite is on Garnet, in Pacific Beach.
These places open and close so fast, it becomes an art form.

My favorite experience was to travel on my bicycle to a shop and buy a new taste, find a secluded spot, smoke a bowl and then ride home.
Experiencing the California cannabis scene has been a highlight of my life.

It has been a month now without cannabis, maybe forever.
I am trying to minimalize my existence and let go.
But it was fun while it lasted.


Tom Cairns February 24, 2015 at 12:06 am

The bust at Point Loma HS was in November, 1967, a couple of days before Thanksgiving. In those days, we only had Thursday and Friday off. The cops had run a stake out from the Christian Scientist Church for about 2 weeks. They had apparently been alerted by local residents about the early morning activity on the west side of the church. After it came down, I had a couple of friends, one in Florida, another in Michigan, who both heard about it. The UT-ET ran a picture of a hand-cuffed student.
As a resident of Humboldt County, and considering the potency of that “grass” in those days, it was definitely a case of “reefer madness”.
When the action went down, my English teacher at the time, Mr. Vorce, related a story from the late 1930s, when he was at PL for a short time. There is a house on Nimitz, on the south side, just north of Chatsworth–Spanish stucco/tile. It was raided at the time as a den of reefer madness/debauchery. (They were probably listening to jazz, too.)


Old Hippie February 24, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Thanks Tom C – I stand corrected, but still standing.


Desde la Logan February 24, 2015 at 12:38 pm

I’m honored to have been the buddy in the Ol’ Hippie’s narrative. It’s time to legalize this gift from nature. More people die from aspirin in one year than ever from cannabis. Legalize it. Don’t criticize it.


Old Hippie February 24, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Feed your mind, desde!


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