I wish I could smoke a joint with Governor LePage

Dear Governor LePage:

Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve written. I was reading about you wanting to eliminate the medical marijuana program in light of the legalization of recreational marijuana, and I had to drop you a line.

While it’s inappropriate for any one person to speak on behalf of an entire demographic, for once I feel confident in trying to so so. It’s probably pretty safe to say that most, if not close to all, patients and caregivers would prefer that you kept your hands off the medical marijuana program. I’m not sure if you know, but Maine’s medical marijuana program is the best in the country.

As Ann Landers used to say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It’s nice for Maine to be known for good things instead of things like childhood poverty and hunger. Or a stagnating economy.  Or a caustic governor.

Further, it seems like your list of things to decimate, like our social safety net and our tax code, is long enough without adding the medical marijuana program to it. There’s only so much destruction you can cram into two years.

With that said, I’d love to talk to you about the healing properties of marijuana and why it is imperative that Maine has a strong medical marijuana program — no matter what happens with legalization. You may even find the research relating to marijuana as an alternative to opiates and as a potential option for treating addiction to be interesting.

If you like, we could even spark one up while we talk. Given everything you’ve gotten away with in the last 6 years, I’m thinking no one’s going to bounce you out for smoking a joint behind the Blaine House. Who knows? It might even help your PR.

Stock photo

Stock photo

If smoking marijuana has no appeal, we could vape or use tinctures, capsules, edibles — there are many ways to access marijuana’s healing potential. There’s also a growing knowledge base regarding what strains are better for which illnesses and health conditions. Eliminate the program, and you eliminate that growing body of research and individually tailored treatment planning.

For example, when I was thinking about smoking with you, my first thought was something in a sativa strain. Variants of this strain tend to be more energizing, and for some of us, a good sativa will help with focus for daily activities. However, sometimes sativas can make edgy people edgier, and what with that whole caustic thing, a pure sativa strain might not be the right fit.

Indica strains are better for pain and relaxing/sleeping, but might not be helpful for governance during the day — it really depends on the person and what conditions are being treated. Either way, I think I’d go with some hybrid of the two, were you interested.

You could consider our smoking session to be hands-on research while we talk about the scholarly and anecdotal stuff. I could even bring some other patients/caregivers and make a circle out of it. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy and learn from the company I bring along.

The stories you’ll hear about recoveries from cancer, mental illness, war injuries, and other conditions will inspire you.

There’s a tongue-in-cheek saying in the medical marijuana community that medical marijuana shouldn’t only be legal, in some cases it should be mandatory. Have a few of us over, and we’ll have you understanding that sensibility within an hour or two, I promise.

Again, my apologies for the delay in corresponding and for any residual discomfort caused by my snarkiness at the beginning of this letter. I know just the thing for residual discomfort … so please know the invitation part of the letter is truly sincere.

Best wishes,


Patricia Callahan

About Patricia Callahan

Trish is a writer who lives in Augusta. She has worked professionally in education and social services.