Good ask metafilter thread that doesn't answer the question? Yes, they exist. February 22, 2007 4:58 AM   Subscribe

This (Medical Marijuana ask.mefi thread) is a good example of an ask metafilter thread where people don't answer the specific question of the poster, but still remain civil and helpful. Yay. So there's an existence proof that people can be helpful while not answering the question asked (and not fall all over themselves to be jerks).
posted by zpousman to Etiquette/Policy at 4:58 AM (120 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Civil and helpful?

I can't imagine that anyone, anywhere, ever - and even less so health professionals - with even the slightest shred of integrity and ethics would agree to do such a thing.

If you have a legitimate medical need for it, see a real doctor ... this is the kind of crap that is used to argue against making medical use legal.

Please don't make matters worse for those that really need the drug.

...please don't undermine their efforts by flouting the law that they worked so hard to build. Unless you have an actual medical problem, please buy your bud on the street like everyone else!

What you are proposing to do is to use a resource meant for sick people for your own convenience.


That's five of the six responses currently on display. (The sixth is actually helpful.) You may think these are wonderful responses, but I doubt the original poster agrees. I'm not saying I disagree with them, I'm just not sure why this particular thread struck you as so great it deserved its own MeTa thread. It seems to me just another case of "Q: How do I do something dumb/immoral/illegal? A: Don't do it." It's true nobody's called anybody a motherfucker, and I guess that's a good thing.
posted by languagehat at 6:23 AM on February 22, 2007


I agree with what languagehat said. Enough with the preaching. I doubt the guy needed to be reminded that what he wants is ethically questionable. Maybe hes lazy, maybe hes in a bad situation, maybe hes not as moral as you -- so what. No ones perfect.
posted by petsounds at 6:31 AM on February 22, 2007


I can't evaluate the propriety of the answers because I can't get figure out what the question is asking. As best as I can tell given the words I understand in the question and the reaction in the answers, it appears this guy is asking for a way to circumvent the law. Is that correct? If so, then don't we have a standing policy of deleting posts where people are asking how to break the law?
posted by dios at 7:09 AM on February 22, 2007


don't we have a standing policy of deleting posts where people are asking how to break the law?

No. We do have a vocal minority who are trying to push the community norms in that direction though. It would be nice if they would just quit it.
posted by Chuckles at 7:16 AM on February 22, 2007


In essence the poster is a pothead asking how to fool a health care professional so he could get his mitts on some medical marijuana. Such a question should not only have been deleted, but the person who posted it banned.

I think what zpousman might have been pointing out is that the poster (anonymous) received far nicer responses than the question deserved on a subject that is obviously very near and dear to the hearts of those who responded.

e.g.,

I can't imagine that anyone, anywhere, ever - and even less so health professionals - with even the slightest shred of integrity and ethics would agree to do such a thing. - and what sort of lowlife are you who would even ask a professional to do so?

That particular thread was an example of the enormous self-restraint of which some people in the blue/green/grey are capable. Zpousman is correct to point it out, although perhaps he needed to spell out his reasons in more detail.
posted by three blind mice at 7:19 AM on February 22, 2007


Count me in that minority (if it actually is one).
posted by owhydididoit at 7:20 AM on February 22, 2007


Such a question should not only have been deleted, but the person who posted it banned.

What MetaFilter planet do you live on where that is likely to happen? That is not the way things work here and never has been.

I thought the question was borderline, without enough information to figure out exactly what the OP was talking about, though the mainstream interpretation seems to be "help me get medicinal marijuana without having a valid medical reason to do so". I also thought the question -- How willing are naturopaths in Canada to sign medical marijuana forms? -- was answerable from people who have experience with that sort of thing. A few answers seemed pretty borderline to me as far as "do they answer the question" though we give leeway with anonymous questions and they do answer the secondary implied request that I stated above. The Canadian laws concerning marijuana are different from the US laws as I'm sure people know and if you don't like what the OP is asking, as always, feel free to not answer their question.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:30 AM on February 22, 2007


Surprised you picked this thread for commendation. I thought the preachy, holier than thou attitude was repellent. The poster did mention that he might have sleeping and or appetite problems. How these are any more suspect than the reasons given for most marijuana prescriptions escapes me.

Like some dumb cop is going to pull him over and say - "looks like you're appetite is fine to me" and slap the cuffs on him? Maybe he is trying to game the system, but I wasn't sure that this was evident from the original post. And even if true, how it would ruin it for everyone else?
posted by vronsky at 7:31 AM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


In essence the poster is a pothead asking how to fool a health care professional so he could get his mitts on some medical marijuana.

Or they're a bulimic who can only overcome the urge to puke with marijuana, or they have night terrors that sleeping pills don't help with, or or or or. We don't know. I agree that the question is unclear. I do not agree that it is "obvious" that the poster wants marijuana for recreational use. I thought the answers mostly sucked, especially in that many of them didn't seem to know anything specific about how Canadian law and/or Canadian medical practitioners deal with medical marijuana.
posted by carmen at 7:39 AM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


The fact that they don't answer the question, even if they're as sweet as ice cream and soda pop, doesn't mean it's something to be praised.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:45 AM on February 22, 2007


yes, lets ban all potheads from the site and delete their posts..they're lowlifes. also lets ban anyone who wants anything for free.. no more poor people..also anyone different than three blind mice.. lets delete their posts
posted by petsounds at 7:46 AM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


I thought the question was borderline, without enough information to figure out exactly what the OP was talking about, though the mainstream interpretation seems to be "help me get medicinal marijuana without having a valid medical reason to do so"

jessamyn, as a matter of policy, if that interpretation is correct, does the question still have a place on AskMetafilter? If it is so that the poster is looking how to circumvent the law, does that run afoul of a policy?

I readily admit that I don't know anything about the medical marijuana scheme in Canada and will defer to those that do. But given the framing and punctuation of the question, it strikes me as highly likely that the question is ostensibly asking how to break the laws. It really smacks of "what kind of BS fake condition can I claim to get a prescription for pot from a pot-friendly doctor?" I know there is the sympathetic view towards pot, but I wonder how the reaction would be if someone asked a question of "How can I find a doc and what do I need to claim to get a prescription at one of those Methadone clinics?" Or "How can I find a doctor who will give me a Vicodin prescription based on this "pain" I have?"

It just doesn't pass the smell test to me.
posted by dios at 7:50 AM on February 22, 2007


Maybe hes lazy, maybe hes in a bad situation, maybe hes not as moral as you -- so what. No ones perfect.

If someone asks a question in general about pot, I don't think that's any reason not to be able to say your opinion about use of the drug. You can rationalize for anything and make it sound OK.
"Oh, I want to help steal a million dollars. How."
...fill in your response.

The point isn't the effect of the preaching itself- it's that it doesn't specifically answer the question in the first place.
posted by jmd82 at 7:52 AM on February 22, 2007


I think it's the use of "quotes" around the aliments that call into question the veracity of the posters woes. The question does seem pretty dodgy, half a step above "how can I score some weed in Central Park".

However, as this was an Annon question it already went through filters to even get posted, so we move on to more important things.
posted by edgeways at 7:53 AM on February 22, 2007


yes, lets ban all potheads from the site and delete their posts..they're lowlifes.
posted by petsounds at 9:46 AM CST on February 22


No one said that. But you do know that pot is illegal (with very limited exceptions), irrespective of anyone's views on the propriety of such laws. It's a fact. It's illegal, right? We tend to not like people asking for questions on how to do illegal things, whether it be related to pot or anything else. We are not discriminating against potheads. We are discriminating against questions about how to engage in illegal actions.
posted by dios at 7:55 AM on February 22, 2007


jessamyn, as a matter of policy, if that interpretation is correct, does the question still have a place on AskMetafilter? If it is so that the poster is looking how to circumvent the law, does that run afoul of a policy?

Jessamyn said it's impossible to tell given the info we have, so we have no idea what interpretation is correct. We don't have a black and white illegal/not illegal policy because given the diverse set of laws worldwide, it's not possible to make one, but we do strongly discourage anything illegal from being talked about and remove stuff we deem problematic. We need more info in this case.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:56 AM on February 22, 2007


What MetaFilter planet do you live on where that is likely to happen? That is not the way things work here and never has been.

Just my opinion, jessamyn, but thanks for the clarification. The skies on my planet are as grey as the background on Metatalk - and apparently just as cold.

I do not agree that it is "obvious" that the poster wants marijuana for recreational use.

What was "obvious," carmen, is that the matter is "very near and dear to the hearts of those who responded." Those who, like I, interpreted the poster's question as a request for help to abuse the medical marijuana laws might have seemed to justified to "fall all over themselves to be jerks" but rather showed remarkable restraint.
posted by three blind mice at 7:56 AM on February 22, 2007


But you do know that pot is illegal (with very limited exceptions)

Not in many countries and it's relaxing in Canada.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:57 AM on February 22, 2007


I just like it when someone feels the needs to ask a question as anon, but would really only get the kind of first hand experience answers that they are looking for if someone could reply as Anon. I have to say that's one of my favorite things about this place.
posted by magikker at 7:59 AM on February 22, 2007


It's not illegal in Canada to possess small amounts, or if you get a note from a doctor. Thats what he was asking about. A bunch of the responses (those self-righteous ones) were to suggesting he buy it off the street which is im guessing more likely to be illegal
posted by petsounds at 8:00 AM on February 22, 2007


Matt, I'm not arguing that this post should have been deleted (I can't figure out what was asked). I was just asking for a policy statement.

I would suggest that you consider erring on the side of caution here. We certainly don't want to engender the view that if you ask bad questions in a vague enough manner then they are ok because you aren't explicit about it. And, I'm sure you have discussed with your counsel the problematic nature of people using your site to facilitate illegal activities. So I was just asking for an articulation of a policy for the sake of moderation. An explicit policy of not allowing questions regarding how to engage illegal activities would probably be a good idea. If a question then looks questionable, you could ask the user to re-ask in a more clear way. An ad hoc policy works, as well, but probably presents more headaches.
posted by dios at 8:07 AM on February 22, 2007


Also, if this is above the table, why the anon?
posted by dios at 8:07 AM on February 22, 2007


"Or they're a bulimic who can only overcome the urge to puke with marijuana, or they have night terrors that sleeping pills don't help with, or or or or."

Assuming facts not in evidence.
It should be clear to any reasonable observer that he's trying to skirt medical marijuana laws. And it should be clear to any reasonable observer that the answers he got are directly on point.

There is no problem here, and while there was some restraint showed, this should be about par for the course.
posted by klangklangston at 8:13 AM on February 22, 2007


My doctor said it's cool for me to toke up because I have, like, the flu and shit.
posted by Gamblor at 8:17 AM on February 22, 2007


Thats what he was asking about.

That's what YOU think he was asking about, petsounds, and you are certainly entitled to your interpretation. The question was vague. Clearly, a number of the "self-righteous" responders interpreted the question as asking for help to to abuse hard-won medical marijuana laws and they too are entitled to their interpretation.

It is admirable that the latter group demonstrated restraint and I think that might be what zpousman was trying to point out by posting this in the grey.
posted by three blind mice at 8:20 AM on February 22, 2007


An explicit policy of not allowing questions regarding how to engage illegal activities would probably be a good idea.

Both administrators have already said that's not going to happen, so maybe it's time to dismount from that particular horse (or stop beating it, depending on quantum state of horse).
posted by languagehat at 8:20 AM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


why the anon?

I can think of a dozen other reasons for making the post anonymous other than trying to evade detection by the gestapo, mein herr.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:22 AM on February 22, 2007


It is admirable that the latter group demonstrated restraint

What exactly is so restrained about "even the slightest shred of integrity and ethics"? Is asking about pot really so horrifying that anything short of "fuck you, asshole motherfucker" is restrained?

Man, I can't believe pot is such a hot button. MeFi would sure have had a different atmosphere (a smokier one) back when I was in college.
posted by languagehat at 8:22 AM on February 22, 2007


quantum state of horse: measured or non measured
posted by edgeways at 8:28 AM on February 22, 2007


It just doesn't pass the smell test to me.

Goddess, I love the smell ganja in the morning.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 8:33 AM on February 22, 2007


dios, the poster is asking about obtaining legal marijuana, not illegal marijuana. There is, in fact, a lengthy application process to qualify for medical marijuana in Canada. It is up to the Canadian government to design this process such that people who want to abuse it to access recreational marijuana are screened out.

It is not illegal to ask a naturopath to sign a form saying that you qualify. The poster has not asked to do anything illegal at all. *If* they plan to lie to the naturopath in order to fake a debilitating disease that cannot be treated by conventional means, then they are probably committing a fraud. However, there is no indication in the post that they plan to do so. There is an indication that the poster thinks the ailments are borderline, but, again, it is not illegal to ask "does this count as a reason for medical marijuana," either of a naturopath or of the general public.

There is absolutely no reason that this person should be told that they are wrong/immoral/committing a crime for trying to find out whether they qualify for this program, even if their qualifications strike some as morally or ethically suspect. There is no indication that the poster will seek to subvert the application process if they find out that they don't qualify. The marijuana policies in Canada right now are subject to a lot of myth and rumour, and it's perfectly understandable and even common to find citizens who wonder if medical marijuana covers things like insomnia.


On preview: klangklangston, yes my comment assumed facts not in evidence. That was the point: so do people who assume that the poster is trying to do something illegal. It may seem obvious to you, but there is no such evidence in the post.
posted by carmen at 8:36 AM on February 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


Also, if this is above the table, why the anon?

Because of the ZOMG DOOBIES replies these sorts of topics seem to result in here and elsewhere, I would guess.

The guidelines we have seem to work fine; we try to err on the side of accepting borderline questions generally. Very rarely we'll remove them after the fact if that turns out to have been a serious error in judgement. This is not one of those times and I'm not sure I remember the last time that happened.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:39 AM on February 22, 2007


MeFi would sure have had a different atmosphere (a smokier one) back when I was in college.

Well, I'm still in college, and believe me I'm doing my part.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:44 AM on February 22, 2007


Are you all high?!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:47 AM on February 22, 2007


it's relaxing in Canada
Gets you quite laid back in large swathes of Asia too, I hear.
posted by Abiezer at 8:50 AM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd like to be able to answer that question.
posted by OmieWise at 8:54 AM on February 22, 2007


From the AskMe:

Would "sleeping problems" and "appetite problems" for which I would "prefer a natural remedy" suffice?

You don't need scare quotes to describe actual problems. In that case, you say: I have sleeping problems and appetite problems. You need scare quotes if "sleeping problems" or "appetite problems" are things that you are hoping are the sorts of things that will get you, as "a natural remedy," righteously, legally, baked.

I don't know or much care whether questions like these should stay or go, but it is baffling to me that there is some disagreement about what the asker is about.
posted by Kwine at 8:59 AM on February 22, 2007


I resisted the urge to chime in on the green, but I'm glad that this thread allows me to say my piece.

Americans: we are becoming more sane and liberal about marijuana in Canada. Many people are able to get medical marijuana for sketchy borderline reasons. The illegality of marijuana for personal use is becoming more and more of a polite fiction in many jurisdictions, kept illegal mainly because of political inertia and heavy pressure from our lovely brothers south of the border.

Those of you all indignant about the evil pothead trying to game the system: have a toke and chill the fuck out, you do not know what you are talking about.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:01 AM on February 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


It's about being open-minded, presuming innocence, and giving someone the benefit of the doubt, Kwine. And it's not about beating a moral horse to death, or pushing a personal agenda.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:04 AM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


The AskMe seems off to me.

Getting busted for scamming some medicinal marijuana undoubtedly has harsher consequences than simple possession; it would be a hell of a lot easier and safer to just drop by a local Junior High and score some off of an eighth grader.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:06 AM on February 22, 2007


I, like languagehat, am somewhat confused as to the responses. In Canada (according to friends who have lived in Toronto), marijuana is widely accepted and practically legal. That is it is easy to obtain and friendly doctor's write prescriptions with little or no consequences. Everyone knows what is involved, even if there is some technicalities (e.g., you cannot walk into a doctor demanding pot, but must give a form excuse).

If this had been Dubai or some other less than friendly country I would have agreed with the responses (as the punishment and consequences are rather severe), even assuming that marijuana was hypothetically medically available.

I think in such cases it is wise of the administrators to look at the social norms and consequences and not just the letter of the law. Responding with a knee-jerk, "that's illegal!" is rather disingenuous. Legality is no always accepted community standards or the best way to look at a situation.
posted by geoff. at 9:18 AM on February 22, 2007


Meatbomb, if that's truly the case why would a Canadian even ask that question?

I've never smoked pot but I'm all for legalization of that, and all drugs, really. But abusing the system in no way helps the cause and the quotes, "sleeping problems" and "appetite problems", suggest that's what anon is looking to do.

As another example, consider prescription pain medication use and abuse. The abuse of of prescription pain meds has lead some doctors to be very wary about prescribing drugs in larger quantities and in the longer term, and that has led to people with legitimate needs suffering.
posted by 6550 at 9:19 AM on February 22, 2007


Kwine: and if that is how you are reading it, then the answer is "no, they don't suffice" (probably...as has been pointed out, Canada is in a strange place with marijuana laws right now, and I'm not sure, which is why I didn't answer the question) not "ZOMG you are ruining it FOR EVERYONE!!!!"

I generally agree with you about the scare quotes, but people do use quotes to indicate what phrasing they use in writing, so it *could* be a question about filling in the form. As I said in my first comment, there really isn't enough information to know what the poster is asking. There is enough that is vague and undefined in the public understanding of marijuana laws in Canada right now that, as a Canadian, I see this question as a pretty typical, straightforward "I feel like I get some health benefits from smoking, does that mean I can qualify for medical marijuana" question, rather than a "I don't want to get caught smoking, help me subvert the system" question.

The fact of the matter is that no matter how you slice the question, the poster has not indicated that they plan to carry out any illegal activity. It is not illegal to engage in the application process if you don't qualify.
posted by carmen at 9:19 AM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


An explicit policy of not allowing questions regarding how to engage illegal activities would probably be a good idea. If a question then looks questionable, you could ask the user to re-ask in a more clear way. An ad hoc policy works, as well, but probably presents more headaches

True, it presents legal headaches but that's how I prefer to do it. You know the site runs on rough guidelines with only one rule. I'm not into the zero-tolerance or authoritarian thing and will live with the consequences of that decision. So there won't be a hard and fast policy we can always go to.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:24 AM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


You need scare quotes if "sleeping problems" or "appetite problems" are things that you are hoping are the sorts of things that will get you, as "a natural remedy," righteously, legally, baked.

maybe. however, considering the broad spectrum of literacy levels on this website, you can't be entirely certain that the norm includes all users. perhaps the person used quotations because those problems are vague and they're not entirely sure what the medical diagnosis for their problem is.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 9:26 AM on February 22, 2007


Americans: we are becoming more sane and liberal about marijuana in Canada.

Dear Canadians,

That is cute that you think that you get to make your own laws. It is adorable really. However, take a look at a map. You are in North America. Operative word: America. If we say weed is illegal, then that shit is illegal. Don't ask about it, don't talk about it, and for God's sake don't do it. We'll tell you if we change our minds, but we don't change our minds.

Yours in Christ,

America
posted by ND¢ at 9:30 AM on February 22, 2007 [6 favorites]


I don't care about that question, which is why I didn't comment in the thread, but I do have one request: if mathowie or jessamyn ever change their minds and bogart it, I really, really hope the explanation is simply "d00d!"
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:30 AM on February 22, 2007


An explicit policy of not allowing questions regarding how to engage illegal activities would probably be a good idea.

...but would make the place far less interesting.
posted by hangashore at 9:32 AM on February 22, 2007


You know the site runs on rough guidelines with only one rule. I'm not into the zero-tolerance or authoritarian thing and will live with the consequences of that decision. So there won't be a hard and fast policy we can always go to.

Fair enough matt, but one of the things that defines authoritarian rule is that it is capricious. Having laws and following the rule of law is a feature of free societies. Dios has a point that a clear policy may be better than ad hoc applications of guidelines. In other words, if you want to avoid authortarian rule, bind yourself down with laws.
posted by three blind mice at 9:34 AM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dear America,

Thanks for the letter and the delicate paper it was printed on. We ran out of ZigZags last night, and Gerry's too lazy to run down to the Sev.

Keep your pecker up,

Canada.
Canada.
Canada... Heh, the more you read it, the funnier it looks. Heh.
Canada.
Heh.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:35 AM on February 22, 2007 [4 favorites]


Dear Canadians,

That is cute that you think that you get to make your own laws. It is adorable really. However, take a look at a map. You are in North America. Operative word: America. If we say weed is illegal, then that shit is illegal. Don't ask about it, don't talk about it, and for God's sake don't do it. We'll tell you if we change our minds, but we don't change our minds.

Yours in Christ,

America


Dear America,

When you run out of fresh water and China cuts off your trust fund to buy it from us, maybe we'll lend you some of our smoke 'cause lord knows you're going to need it.

Yours in Snow,

Canada
posted by dflemingdotorg at 9:35 AM on February 22, 2007 [4 favorites]


From the question: Would most naturopaths be willing to accept the cost of a session to sign such a form?

Isn't that bribery?

Morally, at least, I think it is. The implication is that the questioner has no use for the session itself, and is paying the naturopath merely to induce him to do something he would not otherwise do. The following sentence ("I'm not interested in regular naturopathic treatment") shows that paying the cost of a session is a bribe to sign the form, not for an actual naturopathic session.

Everything else aside, bribing doctors to sign prescriptions seems immoral and presumably illegal (for both the doctor and the briber).

Perhaps other people interpret that sentence differently.
posted by matthewr at 9:38 AM on February 22, 2007


zpousman: So there's an existence proof that people can be helpful while not answering the question asked

If you're not answering the question asked, you are not being helpful.
posted by spaltavian at 9:43 AM on February 22, 2007


Fair enough matt, but one of the things that defines authoritarian rule is that it is capricious. Having laws and following the rule of law is a feature of free societies. Dios has a point that a clear policy may be better than ad hoc applications of guidelines. In other words, if you want to avoid authortarian rule, bind yourself down with laws.

Maybe I used the wrong word then. I despise zero-tolerance rules. Having hard and fast rules about everything dehumanizes our choices and lets us turn off our brains. It also leads to really dumb decisions where you throw your hands up and say "well, those are the rules."

The people I know that describe themselves as "authoritarians" are not at all capricious, they simply follow each and every rule and anyone that breaks a rule for any reason must be punished. There's no wiggle room. It's the opposite of random.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:44 AM on February 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


mathowie, I would like to make you an honorary Canadian.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:53 AM on February 22, 2007


That's one took over the borderline, Meatbomb.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:55 AM on February 22, 2007


Meatbomb, pls move Canada down to California, and I'll immigrate in a heartbeat.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:56 AM on February 22, 2007


carmen, you're pretty smart for a pothead;)
posted by vronsky at 9:58 AM on February 22, 2007


Pot is a pretty highly politicized thing for people, so try re-reading the question with 'vicodin' instead of 'marijuana'. It comes across pretty plainly as drug-seeking behaviour. "Is saying this-and-that to these doctors going to get me a prescription for what I want? Are these naturopaths more likely to fall for my scam?"

Don't particularly care one way or the other if it gets deleted, but see it for what it is.
posted by CKmtl at 9:59 AM on February 22, 2007


Matt, I understand where you are coming from. It is one thing to talk in theory about having rules, but another to actually try to write them so that they make sense in every case. I stand corrected.

There are few forms of government better than the benevolent dictator, but too few such rulers. As long as Metafilter has two, we should all be satisfied.
posted by three blind mice at 10:01 AM on February 22, 2007


I don't know why people will assume the thread will get deleted. As an anonymous posting, it already passed at least one level of admin scrutiny, didn't it?
posted by Dave Faris at 10:02 AM on February 22, 2007


And I think, that like most sane people, mefites have a sense of proportion when it comes to different crimes. Remember the thread where the dude was asking how to cheat someone on ebay (selling a non-existent laptop)? He had his ass served to him on a plate. It was a thing of beauty.

This, as carmen so eloquently pointed out, doesn't even come close.
posted by vronsky at 10:08 AM on February 22, 2007


A recommendation is an entirely different thing than a prescription. No health care practitioner can give the former only the later. for pot.
posted by hortense at 10:26 AM on February 22, 2007


Vicodin is addictive and potentially harmful, pot is not, and has proven health benefits. There many many doctors, naturopaths or not, who feel marijuana laws are bullshit and would be willing to give a recommendation. Many use it themselves
posted by petsounds at 10:44 AM on February 22, 2007


pls move Canada down to California, and I'll immigrate in a heartbeat.

Sounds good to me, but wouldn't that play hell with Arnold's presidential ambitions?
posted by timeistight at 10:47 AM on February 22, 2007


hortense, Canadians must obtain a licence in order to use medical marijuana (I've spent the morning researching this). People must apply for that licence, and part of the process includes having a specialist's assessment that states that 1) their conditions are debilitating, and 2) conventional methods are ineffective or inappropriate. This is different from a prescription. (see here)

I'm having trouble finding any recent numbers, but as of 2003 (three years after the Supreme Court ruled that the laws governing marijuana were unconstitutional and two years after the current medical marijuana licensing system was implemented) only half of the applications submitted to the government for licences had been approved. (From CBC's indepth coverage, 1, 2)

geoff.'s comment illustrates a very common perception in Canada right now, that medical marijuana is trivially easy to get. I believe (although I could not find strong evidence one way or the other) that this is untrue. However, it is a very common assumption, which is why the original thread and the responses here about the "obviousness" of the poster's illegal intentions have peaked my interest enough to spend the morning researching and commenting. Like many Canadians, I wasn't entirely sure what the laws actually say, and even though I now have a better grasp of the letter of the law, I'm still not sure how the law is enforced. It does seem, however, that the application process does not provide a rubber-stamp approval.

Anyway, I'm posting this last comment just to share the little bit of information that I've found, for those who are interested in what the Canadian law officially permits.
posted by carmen at 10:52 AM on February 22, 2007


pls move Canada down to California, and I'll immigrate in a heartbeat.


Only if we get Wasington and Oregon too. You can keep Idaho. Fucking fancypants.
posted by Totally Zanzibarin' Ya at 10:52 AM on February 22, 2007


Only if we get Wasington and Oregon too. You can keep Idaho. Fucking fancypants.

Wasington? Don't you mean Wassupington?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:56 AM on February 22, 2007


Vicodin is helpful to the people who need it for pain, when it's abused it's not so beneficial. Pot can be beneficial too, but it can also be abused.

My point was that if you change the chemical that Anon is talking about, you'll see past the political pot-related biases. It still boils down to "I want [chemical X], I have no desire to actually seek treatment for Symptoms A, B, or C, but if I pretend to have them, will it help me get [chemical X]?"

No different than addicts who go into ERs faking pain, or Rush Limbaugh's exploits.
posted by CKmtl at 10:57 AM on February 22, 2007


My point was that if you change the chemical that Anon is talking about, you'll see past the political pot-related biases.

Yeah, and if you try re-reading it and replacing "marijuana" with "child porn," hoo boy, then you really see it for what it is!
posted by ludwig_van at 11:03 AM on February 22, 2007


I like to replace anonymous with Hitler.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:05 AM on February 22, 2007


Wasington? Don't you mean Wassupington?

Sure. Sounds good to me. Or maybe not. I don't know.

Oh man I'm so stoned I can't even feel my legs...

Uh oh. Did I say that out loud? Am I talking? OH CRAP

posted by Totally Zanzibarin' Ya at 11:12 AM on February 22, 2007


Getting some bent sawbones to write you a scrip for medical marijuana is easy peasy, it's getting them to write for the medical beef jerky, Medical ice cold Pepsi and Medical Akira dvds that's a total fuckin' hassle.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:12 PM on February 22, 2007


Meatbomb, if that's truly the case why would a Canadian even ask that question?

Because handing over twenty bucks to a guy you don't know on East Hastings in Vancouver has other potential consequences.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:51 PM on February 22, 2007


blow job?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:54 PM on February 22, 2007


20 bucks same as on East Hastings.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:55 PM on February 22, 2007


"Hey Dad, can I get 20 bucks for a blow job?"
"I don't know, son. You any good?"
posted by dios at 1:07 PM on February 22, 2007


I think we've all just learned a fascinating fact about Dios. Thanks for sharing.
posted by Dave Faris at 1:17 PM on February 22, 2007


He loves the classics?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:18 PM on February 22, 2007


I really can't believe that some people think that

"sleeping problems" and "appetite problems"

is anything but code for "pot makes me sleepy and gives me the munchies."

The lengths that some will go to rationalize things...
posted by mkultra at 1:20 PM on February 22, 2007


ludwig_van: Yeah, and if you try re-reading it and replacing "marijuana" with "child porn," hoo boy, then you really see it for what it is!

This is exactly in the vein of the pro-pot biases I was talking about. Criticizing someone's attempts to misuse the system in order to get their weed is not the same as demonizing weed. Wasting medical resources to get your recreational weed is no better than wasting medical resources to get your recreational vicodin. "Oh, but it's just weed" or "Current marijuana laws are BS" doesn't make it okay.

The eBay laptop fraud guy would have taken his victim for, what, a few thousand dollars? Drug-seeking wastes of medical resources, in general, must cost the system exponentially more on an annual basis.*

My criticism, and those of the AskMe responders who seem to have been jumped-on as anti-pot cranks, isn't about the pot. It's about the waste.

* Yes, the OP was going to pay/bribe the naturopath for the cost of the visit, but the people who would be processing his/her application also have to be paid. And such drug-seeking appointments also take place in situations where the cost of the visit is paid by medicare.
posted by CKmtl at 1:48 PM on February 22, 2007


OK so hes wasting some doctors time and not using the system for what it was meant to be used for. So what? I mean, I'm glad youre standing up against someone adding more waste and beaurocrazy of the health care system, but your crusade isnt helping this guy. LOTS of people bend the rules. Many people are more interested in their own happiness rather than that of the greater good. Thats just the way it is. I'm glad you're not like that, way to go. But the point is just keep all that holier-than-thou self righteousness inside. If you dont like the question dont answer it
posted by petsounds at 2:05 PM on February 22, 2007


petsounds: But the point is just keep all that holier-than-thou self righteousness inside. If you dont like the question dont answer it.

So, all the people who gave the eBay fraudster a good what-for were in the wrong? Lots of people do it, etc, etc.? Shouldn't have answered the question because they don't approve of fraud? OK then.

/"crusade"
posted by CKmtl at 2:16 PM on February 22, 2007


OK, good point, but fraud is sorta different.. because that harms another person and takes advantage of their good intentions. Anyone who uses ebay or gets spam in their email has a natural hatred of those people. Smoking weed on the other hand is victimless. If someone said something like "does anyone know any good bittorrent sites for downloading?" I would have the same complaint-- if you dont approve, keep it to yourself. Because thats also a victimless crime
posted by petsounds at 2:25 PM on February 22, 2007


Fraudulently procuring medicinal weed for recreational purposes is hardly victimless, petsounds.

It wastes doctors' time, it wastes taxpayers' money by diverting it from those in genuine need of weed, and if you ever get caught, it strengthens the position of those who want to close medicinal weed programmes.
posted by matthewr at 2:33 PM on February 22, 2007


CKmtl: This is exactly in the vein of the pro-pot biases I was talking about. Criticizing someone's attempts to misuse the system in order to get their weed is not the same as demonizing weed. Wasting medical resources to get your recreational weed is no better than wasting medical resources to get your recreational vicodin.

Yes, because if I use pot or vicodin without a medical need, they won't work anymore for those who have a medical need.

"Oh, but it's just weed" or "Current marijuana laws are BS" doesn't make it okay.

They're just drugs. Current drug laws are BS. This makes it okay.
posted by spaltavian at 2:36 PM on February 22, 2007


Oh..
Well, I forgot what my point was.. BUT
Rest assured it all makes sense in my little world

/*gives up*
smokes up
posted by petsounds at 2:38 PM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


To me, it's not about whether pot is okay. It is about whether it is okay to use AskMe as an accessory to a crime. I can't tell for sure whether that was the poster's intent, but if it were, it would be wrong. I mean, we are guests here. Using AskMe to get advice on breaking laws is kind of like using the phone at your library to do drug deals.
posted by owhydididoit at 2:44 PM on February 22, 2007


And Matt says he's willing to take the risk. It might be time to turn off this merry-go-round.
posted by Dave Faris at 2:46 PM on February 22, 2007


No where in the question does the poster ask for advice on breaking the law. He's asking what conditions could actually get a Rx for pot. It's not illegal to ask that, nor is it illegal to ask a naturopath for a Rx for weed. In fact, the question is explicity asking how to get pot legally.

In any case, as the admins affirmed above, there is no explicit policy banning questions on illegal acts.
posted by spaltavian at 2:52 PM on February 22, 2007


dios writes "Also, if this is above the table, why the anon?"

The poster is asking a medical question and you can't think of a reason they might want to be anonymous? Do you feel HIPAA went over the line?

mathowie writes "pls move Canada down to California, and I'll immigrate in a heartbeat"

Immigrate now and be ahead of the rush when BC has CA's climate and CA is more like Death Valley thanks to Global warming.
posted by Mitheral at 2:53 PM on February 22, 2007


Did you read the question, spaltavian?

"Would most naturopaths be willing to accept the cost of a session to sign such a form?"

That seems to me like he's asking whether or not he could get away with bribery.
posted by matthewr at 2:57 PM on February 22, 2007


Yes, I did read the question, matthewr. No matter how much you read into the question, no matter how much subtext is there, it doesn't change the actual text. You know that sentence could be read in more than one way- you said as much.

Even if there was a hard and fast rule banning questions about illegal acts, (which there isn't), it wouldn't include your "moral bribery". No where in the question does the poster ask for advice on breaking the law.
posted by spaltavian at 3:07 PM on February 22, 2007


How do I score some pot? [NOT ILLEGAL]
posted by frecklefaerie at 3:30 PM on February 22, 2007


I guess the real problem is that we're not automatons.

Despite Matt's original approval of the anonymous message, and his further rationalizations in this thread, it's impossible for a good many of us to be objective and non-judgmental when it comes to answering the "grey area" questions on Ask Metafilter. So it's no wonder there is no consensus here about morally questionable questions. And we'll probably never get to the point where we can detach our ethics in order to be more objective in our reactions, but don't you think it's a nice goal to have?
posted by Dave Faris at 3:51 PM on February 22, 2007


spaltavian, I'm no authority on Canadian law, but surely bribing a doctor for a prescription (or recommendation) is illegal (of course I'm open to correction on this point, but it seems probable that it is indeed illegal). Given that, how can you interpret that sentence to mean anything other than "Are doctors amenable to bribes?", and hence "I'd like to break the law; please advise me if I can get away with it." What other interpretation can you suggest for it?

When I said "Perhaps other people interpret that sentence differently", I was expressing bemusement that no one had commented on the way it clearly request bribery advice, not implying that any other interpretation is right.
posted by matthewr at 4:22 PM on February 22, 2007


"True, it presents legal headaches but that's how I prefer to do it. You know the site runs on rough guidelines with only one rule. I'm not into the zero-tolerance or authoritarian thing and will live with the consequences of that decision. So there won't be a hard and fast policy we can always go to."

Um... Though I don't mean to be, necessarily, I'm often percieved as a cock on MeTa. That said, I think this is exactly right, and would like to applaud this (even as a sometimes frequent critic of moderation). This is exactly right, and I respect you more for it.

"...but would make the place far less interesting."

When zombies are criminalized, only criminals will have zombies.

"Fair enough matt, but one of the things that defines authoritarian rule is that it is capricious. Having laws and following the rule of law is a feature of free societies. Dios has a point that a clear policy may be better than ad hoc applications of guidelines. In other words, if you want to avoid authortarian rule, bind yourself down with laws."

Authoritarian is a loaded word. If we were to talk about philosopher kings or regents, the ability to make unfettered decisions is an advantage. Further, democracy is neither what we have nor a perfect form of government, despite Republican claims about Iraq.

"LOTS of people bend the rules. Many people are more interested in their own happiness rather than that of the greater good. Thats just the way it is."

When I am writing the MeTa logical fallacies textbook, I will use this for "tu quoque."
posted by klangklangston at 4:31 PM on February 22, 2007


"And we'll probably never get to the point where we can detach our ethics in order to be more objective in our reactions, but don't you think it's a nice goal to have?"

Which is why we need a Leviathan!
posted by klangklangston at 4:32 PM on February 22, 2007


"And we'll probably never get to the point where we can detach our ethics in order to be more objective in our reactions, but don't you think it's a nice goal to have?"

No, not really. I'd much rather abstain from helping people who are trying to do something I consider unethical, or attempt in a non-disruptive way to dissuade them from it, than slavishly follow the rule that The Questioner is King. I don't think being a member of Metafilter obligates you to provide an objective answer, or any answer at all, to questions you consider unethical.
posted by matthewr at 4:51 PM on February 22, 2007


When I am writing the MeTa logical fallacies textbook, I will use this for "tu quoque."

Technically, it's more of a bandwagon / everyone-does-it fallacy. It would be a tu quoque if petsounds accused me of criticizing the bending of rules, despite my previously having bent the rules myself.

/nitpick

posted by CKmtl at 4:53 PM on February 22, 2007


spaltavian, I'm no authority on Canadian law, but surely bribing a doctor for a prescription

Yeah, I'm sure it is too. However, there is no clear suggestion of a bribe in the question.

I used to do electrical work in the summer homes of wealthy people. We'd often get a job where we were told a fixture was broken. More often then you'd think, the light bulb was burned out, or a breaker was simply off. One time, a perfectly operational light bulb was simply not screwed in far enough. For all these two minute jobs, we still charged the person two hours. Taking such a stupid job still involved prep time and not being able to take another, profitable job. I assume whateverpaths have session rates, that these sessions normally last longer than the time taken to describe one's problem and ask for medical reefer. This would cause a financial loss unless the person was still willing to pay for a whole session.

This was honestly the way I read the question at first, though bribe occured to me an instant later. Is bribe more likely? Probably. Still, it would be hinting at bribe, it still doesn't actually say it. If you're seeking to ban questions that involve illegal acts, it sseems only reasonable that the text would have to remotely pass muster as such in court.

There's a reason lawyer-speak and technicalities exist. They work. You want to ban such questions because of ethical considerations, but you're insisting you're just making a legal distinction.
posted by spaltavian at 6:46 PM on February 22, 2007


A Canadian Fact:

I know several people in my town who openly grow marijuana in their gardens. Just a plant or two, personal use quantities.

I also know several people who smoke openly in public, though that tends to be situationally appropriate, ie. outside the Blues club, on the beach, at a park.

Vancouver got areas where use is even more open, including several cafes where you can get stoned off the secondhand smoke, let alone lighting one up. Last time I wandered through the cafe at the end of East Hastings there was a table with white-haired grannies all getting a good stone on. Glaucoma, I'm sure.

Marijuana is essentially legal in this country. Get over it already.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:48 PM on February 22, 2007


Maybe there is a split between the many Americans who came of age during the "just say no" era and thus have knee-jerk reactions to suggestions of drug use (a phenomenon I've noticed many times), and the Canadians (and the most liberal Americans) who just didn't get that programming and don't take a moral stance on drug use.

Personally I don't think it's a fair assumption that the poster is talking about breaking the law and I am glad the question stands.

Yes we have laws against pot up here but I've never known anyone who was arrested for carrying a quarter around or whatever. The fuzz really only concern themselves with dealers.
posted by loiseau at 9:13 PM on February 22, 2007


Vicodin is helpful to the people who need it for pain, when it's abused it's not so beneficial.

You obviously never have abused vicodin.
posted by spaltavian at 9:38 PM on February 22, 2007


I want [chemical X], I have no desire to actually seek treatment for Symptoms A, B, or C, but if I pretend to have them, will it help me get [chemical X]?

You'll never defeat the Power Puff Girls, so might as well not bother.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:06 PM on February 22, 2007


"Maybe there is a split between the many Americans who came of age during the "just say no" era and thus have knee-jerk reactions to suggestions of drug use (a phenomenon I've noticed many times), and the Canadians (and the most liberal Americans) who just didn't get that programming and don't take a moral stance on drug use."

Wrong, and you clearly didn't read the answers if this is your take. The answers are not anti-pot, they are not "just say no." They are "People with legitimate needs are less likely to get the treatment they require if you dick around with this."
posted by klangklangston at 6:21 AM on February 23, 2007


They are "People with legitimate needs are less likely to get the treatment they require if you dick around with this."

And this is what the Canadians are feeling is a particularly American interpretation. Canadian's have a constitutional right to medical marijuana, decided by the Supreme Court. The reason we have a licensing program is because the court overturned the former marijuana laws as unconstitutional.

If you look at the licensing program, which medical conditions are covered is deliberately left up for interpretation. How wide that interpretation gets is up to the people running the program. There are, obviously (if you read the information about the application process), checks and balances designed such that more than one person must approve the licence. This includes a specialist who assesses the problem, the doctor who signs the application (these can be different people, but both names go on the form) and the government bureaucrats who assess and approve the licenses.

If these people collectively decide that the stress or whatever of daily living can be "debilitating" and that marijuana is the best cure for that, then there is nothing in the language of the law to prevent recreational smokers from getting licences.

Furthermore, there is nothing illegal about applying. In fact, the checks and balances of the licensing process seem to imply that the people who designed the program actually expected people to apply who wouldn't qualify.

Given how the program works, it would be absurd to try to bribe a medical specialist: it would be trivially easy for the government to correlate spurious applications and medical signatories. If doctors accept bribes, it will be obvious, and the risks are very high. (Additionally, there is no reason to assume that the poster intends to bribe the naturopath. Given the part of the sentence that says s/he isn't interested in extended treatment--which is allowed in the language of the licensing application--the interpretation that s/he simply wants to pay for a single full session that might not take the full time is an equally valid one.)


In the context of a well-designed, constitutionally protected licensing program with flexible language that leaves treatable illness up to interpretation there is nothing obviously illegal, immoral, or unethical in asking if one can obtain a medical marijuana license. It is well within the rights of every Canadian citizen to apply for a licence, and extremely likely that recreational smokers will be denied at the very first stage. It is unnecessary for metafilter to add an additional level of policing to this process, and I thank Matt for recognizing that.
posted by carmen at 7:11 AM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


24 hours later,

carmen: I generally agree with you about the scare quotes, but people do use quotes to indicate what phrasing they use in writing, so it *could* be a question about filling in the form.

This is fair enough interpretation. I retract my above comment; it's *possible* that the asker has a medical condition and used some infelicitous phrasing. To charitability!

Dave Faris:It's about being open-minded, presuming innocence, and giving someone the benefit of the doubt, Kwine. And it's not about beating a moral horse to death, or pushing a personal agenda.

It's pretty silly to think that everyone who read the question my way must be on a personal moral crusade against recreational marijuana use. If that's what the asker is about after all, more power to him, I say. Let's spread the benefit of the doubt around a bit, eh crunchie? To charitability!
posted by Kwine at 8:27 AM on February 23, 2007


You know, you're right. You've made me see the light with your eloquent and poignant argument. I'm going to turn over a new leaf, henceforth.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:40 AM on February 23, 2007


Dammit, Kwine, you de-niced Dave Faris. It's like goddam two steps forward, three steps back around here.

Someone's going to bet their right hand against quonsar's lies before Monday, I bet.
posted by cortex at 10:51 AM on February 23, 2007


...please don't undermine their efforts by flouting the law that they worked so hard to build. Unless you have an actual medical problem, please buy your bud on the street like everyone else!

That's my comment, and I stand by it. In fact, it took me three or four tries to make it that polite. Mostly because I'm a medical marijuana activist who suffers from chronic pain due to ankylosing spondylitis -- the main symptom is HOLY CRAP CONSTANT AGONY -- and I can't get medical marijuana myself. This is partly because people here argue that citizens in other states and countries are abusing the medical marijuana systems in place there. States like mine are watching places like Canada and California very carefully, just waiting for abuse... and, sadly enough, they are finding it, for example in West Hollywood. It hurts the cause when people who aren't really sick try to get their weed through these programs. Think about it -- how hard is it for the Drug Warriors to spin something like "half of the medical marijuana applications in Canada are rejected" into "look at all the potheads wasting state money! We all knew this wasn't real medicine to begin with!"

It's great that Canada has a reliable system in which unsuitable applicants are screened out, but that doesn't change my advice one bit. If you're not really ill, and you know you're not really ill, please don't waste the time and money of your doctor and the state just to increase the number of failed applications. It may not be illegal to do so, and it may even be among your Constitutional rights, but I think it's still a terrible thing to do while people are working to get this drug to actual patients. As smokers, and especially with regard to medical marijuana, we need to be as ethical as possible in order to legalize this everywhere, not just in progressive places like Canada.

Note: if anon is really sick, then I apologize for assuming otherwise. That's why my original post said "unless you have an actual medical problem" -- there's always the chance that these are real sleeping problems and real appetite problems, despite the quote-unquote way in which they were phrased.
posted by vorfeed at 11:11 AM on February 23, 2007


More on the problem...
posted by vorfeed at 11:16 AM on February 23, 2007


"De-niced?" As in, my last comment took away Dave Faris' niceness? So, I am to take Dave Faris' last comment as sarcastic? I didn't read it that way at all. I was just trying to play nice and promote peace and unity and togetherness and all that jazz.

*Is confused and afraid to say anything*
posted by Kwine at 11:28 AM on February 23, 2007


No, no. I recognized the level of my hypocrisy when I posted that message about giving people the benefit of the doubt. You were right to point it out.
posted by Dave Faris at 11:45 AM on February 23, 2007


"And this is what the Canadians are feeling is a particularly American interpretation."

That is where the Canadians are wrong. I'm also against people getting casts who don't need them, people getting organ transplants who don't need them, people taking advantage of any public program for frivolous reasons.
And I doubt that you speak for all Canadians when you're arguing for the wasting of resources to support some dude's dubious doobiage. Don't you have long enough waits for actual health care problems up there that you don't need to introduce more schlubs who will only get turned down? Or are you simply blind to the moral problems inherent in this situation?
One of the biggest drawbacks of any socialist scheme is that it requires the good will of all participants to not take more than their fair share. Coming up with specious reasons for medical marijuana prescription hurts those who legitimately need medical marijuana so long as we're not dealing with infinite resources.
While it may be legal, that doesn't make it right.
posted by klangklangston at 12:32 PM on February 23, 2007


This is partly because people here argue that citizens in other states and countries are abusing the medical marijuana systems in place there.

What the poster suggested was not abuse. It was use. The system is designed to reject spurious claims, as any such system must be. Evidence suggests it does this effectively. As of September 2006, only about 0.00005% of Canadians (1492) were licensed to use marijuana, which can hardly be claimed as an epidemic of recreational abuse. If that kind of information cannot support your cause, then you have bigger (and much more local) battles to fight than whether Canadians ask their doctors about qualifying for marijuana licenses.

klangklangston:

Sure, ya, it's bad to waste medical resources. I wasn't arguing that everybody who wants recreational marijuana should try to test the system. I was arguing that given the particular context of marijuana laws in Canada, we can't assume that this poster has any intention of trying to defraud the system. It is perfectly reasonable for any Canadian to ask a medical practitioner about medical marijuana. Because of the way the system is set up, it is virtually guaranteed that spurious claims will be rejected at this stage, which costs the socialized medical system virtually nothing.

If the person asks a naturopath, they have to pay themselves. If they ask their doctor at an appointment that includes other things (yearly check-up, seeing them for medical problems either related or not) then asking about medical marijuana will not cost anything additional. If the person makes an appointment with a physician specifically to ask about marijuana licensing, then the cost will be in the range of $50 (and since this could alert a doctor to potentially harmful drug-seeking behaviour and/or an actual condition that is not serious enough to warrant medical marijuana, I'm not inclined to see this as necessarily a waste). If the person gets the doctor's agreement to help with the application, that means there is merit to the case and therefore any further cost is not a waste.

Canada has 30 million people. Since its inception, the licensing program has never had more than 100 new applications per month, nation-wide. There are only 1492 licensees. The ratio of patients to supporting physicians is about 1.6:1. The distance between the first step to a license and the actual license is huge.

Assumptions that a person asking about asking a naturopath to sign an application form for (apparently) dubious medical reasons will result in 1) illegal actions on the part of the asker and/or naturopath; 2) a fraudulent application (either successful or merely wasteful); or 3) an actual license that then takes away resources from the needy, are simply unwarranted.
posted by carmen at 2:32 PM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


then you have bigger (and much more local) battles to fight than whether Canadians ask their doctors about qualifying for marijuana licenses.

Obviously!

That said, anon asked for my advice, and I gave it. I'd give it the same way again, even knowing the facts you've given me about the way the system works in Canada. Whether there's a system in place to catch spurious claims or not, it's not ethical to claim to have medical problems you don't have, and like I said earlier, we need to be ethical if this sort of thing is going to work out. Statistics are nice, but they're not going to dent the "people just want this to get high" perception so long as people are openly trying to use the system in order to get high. It just plain looks bad... as is evidenced by the reaction anon got from askme.
posted by vorfeed at 11:16 PM on February 23, 2007


vorfeed: Whether there's a system in place to catch spurious claims or not, it's not ethical to claim to have medical problems you don't have

The poster didn't ask about the ethics, so that didn't answer the question. Furthermore, the poster never said he was going to or ask about faking a medical condition. He asked if he could get medicinal pot through one of those whateverpaths.
posted by spaltavian at 4:36 PM on February 24, 2007


The poster didn't ask about the ethics, so that didn't answer the question.

No, the poster didn't ask about ethics. But discussions of ethics and side-issues happen a lot in question threads. For example: this person merely asked if he/she would get in trouble. There were answers relating directly to potential repercussions and a whole lot of ethical considerations. The poster judged this to be the best answer. In addition to learning whether or not such a course of action could cause trouble, the poster (hopefully) got some perspective on the situation and was able to rethink it. The answers in the actual pot thread are on topic ("yes, you theoretically could"), with extra added ethical comments, just like in the teacher thread (with much less piling on).

Furthermore, the poster never said he was going to or ask about faking a medical condition.


No, not directly, but it still smacks of it to me. Plenty of space for actually mentionning this debillitating "sleep and appetite" problem. What the poster directly says is "would saying [these two vague symptoms] suffice?" Reads like planned fakery to me.

He asked if he could get medicinal pot through one of those whateverpaths.

Actually, no. The poster starts off saying that he/she already knows that the national naturopathic association "supports the medicinal use of marijuana". The question actually relates more to a) the plausibility of getting the form signed in a signal session, and b) whether those aforementionned vague symptoms would suffice.
posted by CKmtl at 5:45 PM on February 24, 2007


er, single session.
posted by CKmtl at 7:39 PM on February 24, 2007


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