He will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science degree from a well-established university. He was raised in an upper-middle class household and his mother is a college graduate and a teacher. So why did he did not know China’s form of government?
Interview one graduate? What can we hope to learn from that? This is not a scientific survey!
Standard surveys can be useful, but they are one-dimensional and deadly dull. They aggregate pre-selected responses to pre-selected questions and often blur rather than clarify the nature of who or what is being surveyed. Provided some basic rules are followed, random selection interviews with some open questions can reveal much that you can’t pick up from a survey.
And College Graduate X was a random selection, without any particular characteristics that would make him stand out from his peers. He is twenty-two years old and was raised in a quiet upper-middle class suburb. He is Caucasian, and his father owns a successful business. His mother is a graduate of a northeastern university and as a teacher she has instilled in her family the value of education. X has two younger brothers, one in college, and a younger sister. He has played intramural sports but has not held a job while class is in session.
College Graduate X has spent the last four years as a full-time student at a university that has been in operation for more than eighty years. It is located in an urban area and has more than 24,000 students. His degree will be a Bachelor of Science in human services, with a minor in psychology.
My mission: Discuss my health problems honestly and without misrepresentation with a medical doctor, and find out whether medicinal marijuana would be a medically sound option for me.
I’ll spill the beans right now: they said it was a medically sound option.
In 1996 California voters passed the California Compassionate Use Act, which removes criminal penalties for the personal use possession and cultivation by patients who have a physician’s recommendation and approval. This was a referendum, a direct action from the voters that did not require passage by the California legislature.
I’ve always been curious about this matter. The word on the street was that these “cannabis dispensaries” would give just about anyone over eighteen years of age a prescription for medicinal marijuana for just about any medical condition known to modern science, including having a pulse or breathing in and out.
Was that true, or just a myth?
One windswept Sunday afternoon here in southern California, I decided to find out for myself. I did learn a lot, and I had some fun too, and after my physician interview one of the clerical assistants took me into a room alone and told me directly, “You are the strangest person who has ever been in here.”
I think you will agree, to be told those words inside a Venice Beach marijuana clinic is quite an accomplishment.
First, the legalities. Medicinal marijuana is serious business. I was extremely careful never to tell anyone at the clinic any lies about my purpose or intent or my state of health. I was there to find out whether a medical doctor would recommend medicinal cannabis to help me with a couple of medical problems I was having – problems quite real, not invented or exaggerated. I was there with an open mind, to learn the possible side effects from a real doctor. I already knew for a fact that marijuana would help my lower back pain and sleeping difficulties. All of the information I provided was accurate and complete – I did not deceive anyone. I wanted to be 100-percent sure I was not committing a crime by obtaining medicinal marijuana under false pretenses.
I did not blurt out the fact that I would write an article about the experience. But they didn’t ask.