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Ask Sarah Diesel

Dear Sarah,
Would you please give patients a “refresher course” in dispensary etiquette?

~ Sid Vicious

Dear Sid, 
After managing collectives, instructing at Oaksterdam University ( and volunteering with the Greater Los Angeles Collectives Allianc



Dear Sarah,

Would you please give patients a “refresher course” in dispensary etiquette?

~ Sid Vicious

Dear Sid, 

After managing collectives, instructing at Oaksterdam University ( and volunteering with the Greater Los Angeles Collectives Alliance, or GLACA (, I have seen and heard some of the craziest stories about patients acting like real “stoners.” Remember that not everyone feels the same as we do about this incredibly beneficial plant, so it is imperative that MMJ patients be responsible and professional. Plus, when you sign up as a member of a collective, your membership can be revoked if you do not follow the rules.

Here are my “Diesel Rules” of being a responsible patient:

—Always bring your original recommendation and current California ID when visiting a collective.

—If you have the voluntary California MMJ Card (also known as the SB 420 card), make sure you have it at all times because this is what law enforcement will want to see.

—If it can be avoided, try not to come with people who aren’t patients. Having them wait in the car is the worst thing you can do.

—Transport your medicine and recommendation in the trunk of your car and in a locked box (with a combination code and not a key/lock. This way it stays locked even if you get pulled over and the cops take your keys)

Never bring a cell phone, backpack, alcohol, hard drugs or weapons into a collective.

Never sell or distribute the medicine you obtain at a collective. It is illegal and you will be permanently excluded from the collective if you do so.

Also, follow the GNP (no, that doesn’t stand for Grand Daddy Purple) or the Good Neighbor Policy:

—Be courteous to the neighbors. A smile and a friendly “hello” are much better than a scowl and saying nothing.

—Don’t medicate in your car or around the dispensary. Wait to medicate in the privacy of your own home.

—Park only in the collectives’ designated parking spots.

—Don’t play loud music when arriving or leaving a collective.

—No loitering or nuisance behavior of any kind.

—Do not litter (this should be anywhere, not just at collectives).

When you go to a collective you should feel safe and comfortable. To find out more abut how a collective should honor this, please visit GLACA’s website and check out the Protocols section. Not only is it the patients’ responsibility to follow the rules, but it is just as important that the collectives do so as well.

Dear Sarah,

Michele Leonhart, President Obama’s nominee to the head the Drug Enforcement Administration will almost certainly be confirmed again by the time you read this. As the deputy director, Ms. Leonhart supervised an unprecedented level of paramilitary-style enforcement raids designed to undermine safe access. What should I do if my collective gets raided?

~ Concerned Patient

Dear Concerned Patient,

Being proactive is the best defense. Talk to your collective to make sure they are prepared if this repulsive event should ever occur. They should have the least amount of medicine and currency on site at all times and they should remain silent and I do mean remain silent if law enforcement is speaking with them. The only thing that should come out of the employee’s/volunteer’s mouth is “I am going to remain silent and I want to see a lawyer.”

Dear Sarah,

The holidays are here and most of my friends are medical cannabis patients. What kind of gifts can I give that would be fun and creative?

~ Secret Shopper

Dear Secret Shopper,

Gift giving can be such an enjoyable or very stressful part of the holidays. There’s nothing worse than running from store-to-store, dealing with parking and crazy shoppers.

Handmade gifts come from the heart and can be very therapeutic although I wouldn’t suggest giving medicated gingerbread houses. Instead, make a cannabis cookbook with your favorite delectable, delightful and delicious canna-recipes. A gift that keeps on giving!

Recently, I discovered a product called the CanKit (, which would be a fabulous gift for patients on the go. The kit includes hand sanitizer, lip balm, breath mints, a mini lighter, redness-reducing eye drops and even a smell-proof container for your medicine. The best part is that you can refill the kit with items from the travel section at your local drugstore.

I find that patients are always “losing” their lighters and a way to help avoid this terrible phenomenon is to decorate and personalize them as gifts. I use stickers, markers and cut out pictures from my favorite cannabis magazine CULTURE and glue them on. The designs can be their initials, holiday themes or the patients’ favorite strain(s). Clear tape is a great way to laminate the whole lighter and ensure the decorations will stay on.

For those patients who just love a clean, ice-filled glass water pipe, give them homemade cleaner. An arts & crafts store will have an eclectic section of jars. Fill one with sea salt (any large granulated salt will do) and the other with isopropyl alcohol. Tie a green ribbon and/or bow around each of them and voilà!

Whatever cannabis gifts you give or make this holiday season, do it with love and compassion—just how this plant is supposed to be used.

Hope all you CULTURE readers have safe, happy and medicated Holiday season!

Got a burning question about love, life and/or the pursuit of medicine? Ask Sarah Diesel, medical-marijuana advocate and L.A.’s Countess of Class and Cannabis. Just keep your questions short, straightforward and obscenity-free, and email them to

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