I just got my doctor’s recommendation, and there are so many collectives to choose from. I don’t even know where to begin. What do you look for when deciding what collectives to join?
~ Overwhelmed in OC
Dear Overwhelmed in OC,
Boy can I sympathize with you. I feel overwhelmed just watching the listings grow, so I could only imagine how a new patient would feel trying to pick from them. The Greater Los Angeles Collectives Alliance (GLACA) has been self-regulating within our industry since 2006, and there were some specifics the group always looked for in members’ organizations. I have volunteered, even before it was called GLACA, as its secretary and on the Accreditation Committee. If a collective wants to be accredited, we send in a secret shopper, and then I come around with a clipboard and checklist.
First and foremost, a collective should be a Good Neighbor. It should be a positive part of the area, not just a blank storefront with a green cross. The collective itself should also be addressing any loitering or nuisances. As inviting as it is, you really shouldn’t smell OG Kush down the block.
Your collective should not make you feel like a criminal. Adequate security doesn’t mean man-traps and bullet-proof glass. If you’re sliding your paperwork and a $20 bill through a slot, and out comes a little baggie, ask yourself, “Did that feel legal?”
The collective staff should be informed about their medicine, not intoxicated on it. The medicine should be properly labeled and gently handled. If you’re watching unmarked pounds getting tossed around, how can you trust they even know what they’re giving you?
You will probably go to a dozen or more before you find the right one. When you find yourself 20 minutes into an exciting conversation with a collective staffer, forgetting that you just met this person, then that is the collective to come back to.
Does medicating have any effect on a man’s sperm count? I’ve heard it lowers your sperm count–but not sure if this has ever been studied or documented.
~ Concerned About My Lil Swimmers
Dear Concerned About My Lil Swimmers,
Myth: “Marijuana causes lower sperm counts in men and difficulty having children.”
Fact: There is no evidence that marijuana causes infertility in men or women.
In 1974, one of the first researchers to compare blood testosterone levels in male marijuana users with non-users was Robert Kolodny. Kolodny and his associates reported that frequent marijuana users had lower testosterone levels than occasional marijuana users. (They must have been smoking kush–I’d like to see anyone smoke a cannabis indica joint and then try to be “romantic” with their lover) In numerous other studies, however, researchers have found no reduction in testosterone after men smoked marijuana–even with very high doses of it (no pun intended).
Also in 1974, Kolodny reported that frequent marijuana users had lower sperm counts than occasional users. However, this study failed to control for sexual activity in the days prior to examination, a factor known to affect sperm concentration. The researchers must have been medicated on cannabis sativa and forgot.
In a study conducted at the University of Buffalo, the sperm of several men who were using marijuana was closely examined. The study showed that the psychoactive ingredient, THC, caused the sperm to begin the hyper-activation process early, way too early, causing the sperm to “burn out” quickly and thus were unable to “complete the journey” required in the fertilization process. In short, while you were “medicating” you sperm was “medicated” too.
June Joints and Summer Daze,
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 AskSarah@freeculturemag.com.