STEVE LOPEZ

A visit to the medical marijuana doctor

I stood to show him where my back hurts. He asked me to bend down, and I demonstrated that I couldn't touch my toes, but I don't think he could see that. He hadn't moved from his seat.

I pointed again to my lower back and asked if there were a disc that low.

He said he knew nothing about back problems.

"I'm a gynecologist," he said.

I see.

He asked if I could have my primary care doctor fax over a brief note about my back problem.

Sure, I said.

"There's no rush," the doctor said.

Without having laid a hand on me, he led me back out to the receptionist with the ball cap. I paid $150 for my 10-minute exam and was given my recommendation.

"This certifies that Steve Lopez was evaluated in my office for a medical condition, which in my professional opinion, may benefit from the use of medical marijuana."

Several more patients were waiting their turn.

Me? I had some shopping to do, and several hundred stores to choose from.

Check back here Sunday, and I'll let you know how it went.

steve.lopez@latimes.com

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