No GANJA, No Cry

The number of Floridians queuing up for medical marijuana cards is exploding faster than a mobile meth lab on a cobblestone road and that, in turn, has created a boom market for doctors licensed to prescribe them. Dr. Khaja Chisty, aka the “Jacksonville 420 Doctor,” is the new kid on the block, as that goes. His practice on St. Augustine Road opened a couple months ago, but there was a coming-out party of sorts on Saturday, Nov. 18, and Folio Weekly was there.

We had to be there—my name was on the flier, and that aroused some prohibitionist passions in the heart of at least one competing doctor, who forwarded said flier to the mayor’s office the week before, citing Chisty’s controversial exit from the medical scene in Colorado and making the false claim that products were being sold onsite. Similar claims were also made to Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Agency (currently busy skimming kilos off the beaches), but at least he avoided mentioning Mexicans, “hot” jazz music, Lizzie Borden and/or the Queen of England, so that can be considered progress, by our standards.

In reality, if there’s one place in Florida where you will NOT find marijuana for sale, it’s at a medical marijuana event. You will find pizza, and lots of it, and music by Whiskey Heart, Crypteria and my friends The Chrome Fangs, an excellent local band playing at Jack Rabbits on Dec. 7. Libations were provided by Whispering Oaks Winery, which eschews grapes in favor of 2.2 pounds of freshly fermented local blueberries that go into making every bottle—recommend you try it.

Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Nathan was also there, arriving in time to work the marks during the Black Sabbath cover band, almost surely a first in Florida politics. A licensed physical therapist and military veteran, Nathan is the most aggressively pro-pot contender on the ballot so far, but faces an uphill fight for the Republican nomination against current frontrunner Adam Putnam. Nathan’s vocal support for Don Trump and libertarian leanings, coupled with his outsider credentials, make for a rather interesting package, though. As one supporter put it, “Would you rather have a career politician, or someone who’s gonna drain the swamp?” Well, swamp-draining makes sense up in Washington, where all you’ll find is a bunch of skeletons and a few of Hillary Clinton’s discarded hard drives, but the chaos already wrought by displaced alligators would only get worse if we drained these swamps.

More on all this next week, unless something more interesting comes up.